Raukawa Charitable Trust invests in planting Totara clusters

By Mere McLean

The Raukawa Charitable Trust are working collaboratively with Hancock Forest Managers who own the Kinleith forest near Tokoroa.  This June they hope to plant Totara clusters on blocks owned by Hancock Forest Managers. 

It takes 120 years for a Totara tree to mature.  So the Raukawa Charitable Trust has been asked why ths is seen as a good investment.

Phil Wihongi, Environmental Officer of the Trust says, “It's about planting trees for the future but if we go back to the wisdom and the foresight of our tipuna, wisdom and the foresight of our kaumatua we told that we need to be looking to the future all the time.”

Tōtara is a major wood resource for building Marae and Waka and according to Phil Wihongi, Raukawa does not have this resource as yet.

“Unless we provided for those resources there's no guarantee that we will have them so being in a central part of our culture and our life we won't have them.”

Raukawa Charitable Trust is working collaboratively with Hancock Forest Managers to plant clusters of Totara on lands owned by Hancock Managers the venture will be a research project which includes SION.

Mr Wihongi says, “It's about us as kaitiaki in the modern time fulfilling our obligations it's about restoring the ngahere to the areas it hasn't been that is has been lost from there. “

Raukawa hope to begin the planting of clusters of Totara by this year.

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