Dane Karapu is on a three-day course alongside MPI staff.
According to Dane, “This is a big step forward for Ngāti Wai especially now that we're engaging at an iwi level. This means further opportunity for capacity building and addressing environmental issues from a cultural point of view.”
The invitation came about through the Ngāti Wai Resource Management Unit questioning MPI officials on the way they handled the response to the recent Queensland fruit fly scares.
For years, Ngāti Wai has worked with agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, DOC and the MPI on a range of environmental issues.
From the Ngāti Wai point of view, they are ideally placed to carry out the monitoring and other functions during those incidents, rather than bringing in outsiders who lack local knowledge or specific cultural values.