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Te Kāhui Rau – Revitalising Te Taiao Pilot Project


As part of our two-year research pilot, Revitalising Te Taiao, funded by the National Science Challenge - Our Land and Water, the four of the Te Kāhui Rau team, Bry Kopu, Glen Skipper, Te Raumahora Hema, and Sonya Cole, travelled to Wānaka for a three-day wānanga and kōrerero. The primary kaupapa was to share key issues and insights gained thus far with the Parent Programme and the other two pilots - Wai Wānaka and Rere Ki Uta, Rere Ki Tai.


The ngā kaiuruingi (project leads) meet online with ngā kaihoe (the programme leads) fortnightly and can tap into ‘one on one’ support with the wider team. Building strong relationships, is a vital part of the mahi to connect with the other pilots, and in order to continually refine the kaupapa and collectively address any issues.


The three days were packed with high calibre speakers, educational and inspirational presentations, thought-provoking kōrerorero, site visits, and networking.


Two outstanding guest speakers were Brenda Tahi of Manawa Honey, who delivered her kōrero with honestly and humour, leaving us with no doubt that you shouldn’t be afraid to learn by trial and error. We also heard from Dane O'Shanassy, Country Manager of Patagonia – their mission statement is "we're in business to save our home planet" a company that has truly put its money where its mouth is.


Educational and inspirational presentations were given by Murray Hemi who opened the wānanga with a presentation on Taiao Manawa Ora: Purpose-led Change, and day two saw Professor Paul Dalziel speak about The 9 Attributes of Highly Successful Value Chains, both cementing preparatory work the team had done with Richard Jones. As an afternoon breakout session we were lucky enough to visit to the stunning Lake Hawea Station to hear from Geoff and Justine Ross about their journey post-42 Below, and the regenerative farming practices they are carrying out.


Ngā Kaiurungi Taiao team kōrerorero included individual project updates with some pre-prepared presentations by the team leads, value chain wānanga, feedback and brainstorming sessions, key outcomes and objectives for the last nine months of the challenge period, and offramping, concluding on the final day with Moving to a te Taiao Future - Thinking beyond March 2024.


To be able to socialise our latest initiative and thinking, our vision with the likes of Brenda, and Paul Dalziel, and the crew - the whānau. It is great to get the positive feedback, questions and provide that external validation and an external view of what we are doing. I think that is a really valuable part of what you can do within this project.
Bry Kopu

There is always plenty of robust discussion at these wānanga which challenge us to think deep and wide about our projects, vision, and goals, and who couldn’t be inspired by the stunning backdrop of the Lakes District. The team are already putting our words into action, and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.

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