The Manawatawa project is a native tree restoration programme on hill country in Motukaraka on the Hokianga Harbour. The aim is to revegetate about 25 ha that forms the immediate catchment for a community water supply. The land is under the Ngāi Tūpoto ki Motukaraka Trust; a hapū trust with charitable status.
The project started in 2021 and over three seasons over 16,000 trees have been planted and thousand of regenerating natives have been subjected to weed control and enhancement work.
Weed control is a major issue with numerous invasive species. With funding from the Jenkins Foundation and the Trust, an ongoing weed control project has been set up. The objective of the weed control project is to manually clear wilding pine, tobacco weed, and privet over the whole area of the block. A systematic approach has been taken across the block.
During 2023 a crew of three unemployed workers has been working part time on the project. They have completed nearly 400 hours of work over an area of about 8 ha. Funds have also gone toward renewing equipment and covering payroll cost.
The Trust has involved the local secondary school, Te Kura Taumata o Panguru who have assisted with planting. Community volunteers have also contributed to the project, including weed control, planting and the provision of seedlings. If the Jenkins Foundation provides further funding a similar approach will be followed next season matched by Trust resources and hopefully, WWF funds.