A West Auckland iwi is receiving acknowledgement for their efforts to push local government to place restrictions in the Waitākere Ranges due to the kauri dieback. However, concerns still remain for locals as the disease continues to spread.
Te Kawerau a Maki will receive recognition for efforts over environmental issues at the Love Your Place Awards.
Executive manager of Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority, Edward Ashby says, “It's nice for Te Kawerau a Maki to be able to stop and pause, and celebrate with the community that has helped to get to here.”
The Waitākere Ranges are the cornerstone into Te Kawerau a Maki history. Despite the precautions in place to halt kauri dieback, it's a battle they say they are losing.
“We're very concerned because for the last 14 months it's been stated numerous times if Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa dies, this iwi's future goes with it.”
Te Kawerau a Maki initiated the restrictions for the public entering the Waitākere Ranges earlier this year but the disease has doubled in the past five years, and local government is pushing for more iwi initiatives.
Waitākere Ranges Local Board chair Greg Presland says, “The Ranges are very special to them and they should have a significant say in what happens in the future.”