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Recognition For Restoration of Tutaekuri River

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A Hawke’s Bay resident who has devoted years to restoring the Tutaekuri River has been recognised in the national River Story awards.

Since childhood, Te Kaha Hawaikirangi has wanted to restore the river so he could bring back the “plentiful yesteryears” described by his elders. 

The 30-year-old was raised hearing stories of the awa so wide and deep that steamboats were able to reach his marae, Waiohiki. They also told him of the life in the river, an abundant whitebait population and hauling in great sacks of eels.

However, since then the water quality had deteriorated, eels were fewer, and algal blooms meant the river is “not a place now during the summer where you’d actually want to swim”.

“Not only are we losing our connection to the river, but also that whanaungatanga about hanging down there with your family and creating those stories”.

Photo: Te Kaha Hawaikirangi’s contribution to restoring the Tutaekuri River was celebrated, as a finalist in the River Story awards. 

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Posted: 7 December 2017

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