Te Uri o Hau and Manukapua
Outcome: Managed access adds value to communities
Since December 2018 one of the Commission’s Regional Field Advisors, Dot Dalziell, has been supporting Te Uri o Hau with realigning access to its wāhi tūpuna at Manukapua.
Te Uri o Hau is a hāpū of Ngāti Whātua, located in the Northern Kaipara region.
Manukapua (known by Pākehā as Big Sand Island) is extremely significant to Te Uri o Hau. It is the landing place of the ancestral waka Mahuhu ki te Rangi.
The water surrounding Manukapua has also provided Te Uri o Hau with kaimoana, such as patiki, tamure, and pipi for many generations.
There is already public access to the area across a privately-owned orchard, in the form of a Department of Conservation (DOC) easement. While the easement only grants public access on foot, many visitors have driven along it and over the sand dunes in recent years. This poses a threat to the critically endangered tara iti (fairy terms) in the sand dunes, as well as treasured coastal plants and other native wildlife.
Locals in the Okahukura Peninsula area, represented by the Tapora Land and Coast Care Group and the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group are working with iwi and DOC to restore and protect the land. The avocado orchard and DOC are realigning the easement. This offers good opportunities for community involvement in managing the access in the future.
Dalziell approached Te Uri o Hau last year, offering support with public access issues. Since then she has been supporting negotiations between the groups interested in Manukapua and providing technical advice. Their shared goal is to create a better network of access that promotes kaitiakitanga of the area and allows the local hapū access to their wāhi tūpuna and food sources.
Dalziell says by involving local people and keeping everyone talking the parties are developing a better form of public access to the whenua that protects both the land and the needs of people.