Te Arawa Lakes Trust has been awarded the 2022 New Zealand Biosecurity Māori award. Photo / NZME
The 2022 New Zealand Biosecurity Māori trophy has been awarded to Te Arawa Lakes Trust for its work protecting tipuna roto (ancestral lakes) of their rohe.
“Biosecurity issues continue to have major impacts on the lakes of Te Arawa and in recent years, Te Arawa Lakes Trust have been at the forefront of initiatives to resolve these issues and create employment for their people.” the Ministry for Primary Industries (Manatū Ahu Matua) said.
Invasive fish, mammals and pest weeds both aquatic and land-based have driven taonga like koura, kākahi beds, inanga, koaro, and tuna to the brink of extinction MPI said.
The trust’s biosecurity team has grown to 21 and conducted over 5000 boat inspections to limit the spread of weeds between lakes, while working with 35 schools from around Rotorua to eliminate catfish.
Iwi use mātauranga and tikanga-based solutions for their mahi, which also includes wetland restoration.
Whānau have also been trained as scientific divers while they lay uwhi (flax mats) for the control of aquatic weeds.
In awarding the top gong to Te Arawa Lakes Trust, MPI said Te Arawa was a “key player in the region’s biosecurity sector” and has created over 70 jobs for whānau.