Te ko miti runga, miti raro, miti haha, ka tupu te wai, ka ora te wai, ko te wai na wai, ko te wai na Io Matua Kore
The spade works, above, below and aside, the water rises, and all is well.
To whom does the water belong? To the Creator, Io Matua Kore
The Ko Waitangi Te Awa Trust (KWTAT) is a registered charitable trust, established and led by local Māori in collaboration with many stakeholders from the area.
Our charitable purpose is to support, maintain, assist, foster and promote the preservation of the environment, promote the advancement of education in relation to environmental issues and the creation of employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of the community within the Te Tai Tokerau area. We are governed by a board of trustees who whakapapa to marae within the catchment and operate under a Trust Deed.
The Waitangi Catchment has been prioritised for action by the Northland Regional Council and an effective Catchment Forum has been actively seeking to improve the state of the catchment. Many environmental indicators in the area show poor water quality, having a negative downstream impact on cultural, recreational and commercial opportunities. For example the highly frequented beach at the mouth of the Waitangi River in front of the famous Marae and Settlement Grounds is frequently not suitable for swimming due to risk of people getting sick. Upstream sites are similar and the kaimoana is under threat. Meanwhile the community urgently needs jobs.
KWTAT has been established to meet this need and is now undertaking a project funded by the Ministry for the Environment (and other partners) to establish 14 positions to restore the environment with 424,000 native seedlings. This has provided a start for what will become an intergenerational journey of regenerative enterprise