2018 brings celebration and opportunity following karakia at the site of the new pedestrian bridge across the Ohinemuri River at Karangahake Reserve, located in the northern Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park.
This project is a step forward for all parties to renew and strengthen the partner relationships and to promote the iwi connection within Karangahake and Ohinemuri. The bridge replacement project is a collaboration with Ngāti Tara Tokanui and Ngāti Tamaterā, DOC and Hauraki District Council.
Amelia Williams of Ngāti Tara Tokanui and Liane Ngamane of Ngāti Tamaterā have positively reflected on the ceremony:
Whatungarongaro te tangata toitu te whenua
"Korohere Ngāpō and Aunty Nancye Gage lead our karakia to bless and 'turn the clod' to commence the replacement work of the Ohinemuri Bridge," says Amelia Williams of Ngāti Tara Tokanui.
"Ngāti Tara Tokanui welcomes opportunities to partnership closely alongside Ngāti Tamaterā, iwi, DOC and the Hauraki District Council to achieve a shared vision that ensures a sustainable and protected Karangahake-Ohinemuri District. The replacement of the bridge is an important aspect of our mutual kaitiakitanga – stewardship role.
"We thank Mayor Tregidga, the Hauraki District Council, DOC management and teams and for their dedication and commitment – they have worked tirelessly over the past two and a half years to bring this major project to this important stage."
Amelia also comments, "Ngāti Tara Tokanui wish iwi and manuhiri – the New Zealand public – a safe and enjoyable stay."
Liane Ngamane of Ngāti Tamaterā expressed appreciation of the occasion too. "We are pleased to be involved in this co-designed project that is more than just a bridge replacement to us.
"It has provided a practical opportunity to work alongside Ngāti Tara Tokanui and collaborate with the agencies to ensure that our stories, our history and the values we associate to this special place are infused into the design and ultimately the visitor experience. This will go some way, we hope, to breaking the assumption that the values and history of Karangahake begin and end with its mining legacy."
As part of DOC's stretch goals and priorities, we are striving to achieve a living Treaty partnership based on shared values for the benefit of Aotearoa New Zealand.