Maungatautari to Pirongia Ecological Corridor Project

NZ Landcare Trust is excited to be involved in the funded five-year Maungatautari to Pirongia Ecological Corridor Project (June 2021 to June 2026). The aim of this project is to link two of the region’s most spectacular maunga, Maungatautari and Pirongia via an ecological corridor between the waterways which flow from the two maunga – the Mangapiko and Ngāparierua streams.

The funding for this project comes from the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund, which is part of the Government’s $1.245 billion ‘Jobs for Nature’ programme.

NZLT’s Waikato Regional Coordinator, Nardene Berry will oversee part of the project with support from Project Coordinator Bexie Towle and a Mātauranga Māori Facilitator Te Ao te o Rangi Apaapa.

Extensive restoration work is already underway in this area with the Maungatautari to Pirongia Ecological Corridor Incorporated Society (formerly known as the Lower Mangapiko Streamcare Group) having undertaken work in the lower Mangapiko for the past eight years. In late 2020, the group changed their name to incorporate the whole of the Mangapiko, as a reflection of the wider work they feel needs to be done. Individual landowners, other care groups, iwi, councils, industry (such as Fonterra, and other agencies, (such as QEII and the Department of Conservation) are also working to improve and enhance riparian margins, create wetland habitat, reduce predators, and increase biodiversity in the area.

“This project is already powerfully collaborative, with the following partners already proactively working together – Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society, Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, Maungatautari to Pirongia Ecological Corridor Incorporated Society, Ngāti Korokī Kahukura Trust, Purekireki Marae, Waikato Regional Council, Waipā District Council, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Apakura.”

– Nardene Berry, Regional Coordinator, NZ Landcare Trust

In the next ten years the project aims to have enhanced water quality, and for native birds to spread out into the surrounding landscape, using habitat along the streams.

There is now an opportunity to start improving habitat for native birds and insects with more native plantings and increased weed and pest control. This means practically anyone can get involved at a level they feel comfortable with, and join with the many others already undertaking great work to help native birds and insects thrive.

Predator Free NZ has a great summary of what native bird populations need to thrive here: https://predatorfreenz.org/what-bird-populations-need-thrive/

Project updates

Latest updates on the Taiea Te Taiao Ecological Corridor, including videos can be viewed here.

For further information, please email: taieatetaiao@landcare.org.nz