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Politics, parties and projects - November pānui

Updated: Jan 25

Welcome to our November pānui! There's a lot going on, and many things we need your help with to advocate for endangered species here in Aotearoa.

First up, the new coalition agreements will introduce many laggard policies for forestry, mining, oceans, climate change and the health and wellbeing of our people. Tāngaroa Tuia te Ora, the Endangered Species Foundation is a small, agile organisation, supported mainly by volunteers and these policies do not define how we work. Instead, we need to harness them as a call to action to organise and to engage with much deeper kōrero with these new political leaders.

🌳💚 Restoring the whenua, our awa and lakes, and achieving full restorative justice for biodiversity and people here in Aotearoa New Zealand requires a collaborative approach. We believe that modelling co-governance and supporting Māori-led initiatives are essential steps towards achieving these goals ❤️🖤.

🌳 New Co-Chairs 🌳

In exciting news we are really honoured to let you know we officially have two new Co-Chairs, Tawera Nikau and Emma Giesen.

Tawera, a former rugby league legend with deep roots in Waikato-Tainui, is dedicated to restoring his farm, our local communities and eradicating koi carp from North Waikato lakes. Emma, a key force at Trees That Count has an impressive track record of supporting community-led projects here and internationally. Tawera and Emma will help strengthen our relationships with key organisations and communities dedicated to biodiversity restoration, recognising the value of mātauranga Māori alongside western science. You can hear an interview with Tawera on Radio Waatea here.

Ngā mihi nui

Our heartfelt thanks go out to our outgoing Chair, Stu Muir, for his invaluable contributions to our organisation, helping lead us to where we are today. Stu will stay on with us as an advisor for river and wetland restoration. We also send our massive appreciation to Pekaira Rei, Abi Foy and Irene Chappel who have been highly valuable trustees, sharing sage advice in their various areas of expertise.

Nau mai, haere mai

We are humbled to let you know that Graeme Atkins, a dedicated advocate for kaitiakitanga, with a lifelong commitment to restoring the ngahere (forests) and native environments of Aotearoa, has joined us as an Advisor with expertise in mātauranga. You can read more about this wonderful kaitieki and his dedication to the preservation of taonga species here.

We are also stoked to announce that Rangitahi Wharepapa is joining us as a new trustee, bringing a wealth of experience and insights from her current role in the Raukūmara Pae Maunga project, the largest indigenous-led project for biodiversity restoration on the planet. This is Rangi in her favourite place, in her beloved ngahere 🌳.

Nau mai, haere mai ki a kōrua.

🥀Tairāwhiti Ngutukākā Trip and Plans 🥀

After years of pandemic and extreme weather events, we finally got to meet and hear from the people on the ground who have been educating, growing and planting ngutukākā at kura, marae and along roadsides in the heart of Tairawhiti. This is just the start of our journey to restore this endangered, taonga species to an entire East Cape that used to bloom red!

There is much more to come including a video and a first time, Ngutukākā Festival in 2024. So watch this space – tickets will be limited and in high demand, for some very special endangered species garden tours, found nowhere else on earth.

Standing in front of Ngutukākā mural by Mr G

😍 Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Massive thanks to all our supporters including Trust Tairāwhiti and the Sunrise Foundation for supporting this mahi. Big thanks also to Trees That Count, Bay Conservation Alliance, Raukūmara Pae Maunga Restoration Project and our pou Graeme Atkins, Alice Cameron, Stu Muir and Mere Tamanui, who brought us together to make this happen.

Adopt Don't Shop

As Christmas approaches we encourage you to buy a meaningful gift for your loved ones and make a difference! Instead of adding to the mountain of consumption, consider the gift of conservation and adopt an endangered species. By adopting a species, you will help safeguard precious habitats, educate people on how they can help, and ensure the survival of species that are teetering on the brink of extinction.

Stop Bottom Trawling Seamounts

The Endangered Species Foundation is part of the awesome Deep Sea Conservation Coalition which brings together NGO's from all around the world to be a stronger voice for oceans protections. Aotearoa New Zealand continues to stand out on the world stage for all the wrong reasons: our bottom trawlers are trashing deep sea corals and we are the last country bottom trawling the South Pacific. Sign the petition to end bottom trawling on seamounts here.

Drains are Streams

Sadly, 76 percent of our native freshwater fish are either threatened with or at risk of extinction.

To turn things around we have started a project to enable people to adopt a drain and care for our waterways.

In December we are launching a water health measurement device, with our new Impact Partner, AquaWatch under the guidance of their Chief Growth Officer, Abi Foy, into a Waikato stream. This amazing tool gives real time measurements about the health of water. Following this in 2024 we will be officially trialling a pilot of this programme with tamariki from a local kura / school.

We need your help to develop and grow this project!

Your donation will go towards the creation of educational and outreach materials for tamariki in schools. ⬇️

❤️ Ka aroha ❤️

Big love to everyone out there who is making a difference for our native species. We see your beautiful mahi, weeding, protecting dotterels on the beaches, doing the right things with your pets, educating our tamariki on better ways of connecting, buying less, being more.

We wish you lots of aroha in this lead up to Christmas. Remember to drive safe, take it slow, there might be a kiwi or a bittern out there trying to cross the road. May you breath in the fresh air of this beautiful whenua. We do know how lucky we are.

Ngā mihi nui,

Natalie Jessup

General Manager

Endangered Species Foundation

P.S. In case you're still at a loss for what to get for Christmas it's not too late to get a shag.

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