The ongoing biosecurity efforts of Te Arawa Lakes Trust have been recognised at the annual New Zealand Biosecurity Awards, held in Auckland yesterday.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust won the New Zealand Biosecurity Māori Award for our multi-faceted mātauranga Māori approach to restoring Te Arawa lakes and waterways.
Biosecurity issues continue to have a significant impact on the Tipuna roto (ancestral lakes) of Te Arawa. In recent years, Te Arawa Lakes Trust have been at the forefront of initiatives to resolve these issues and create employment for our people.
Our team of sworn biosecurity officers has grown to 21 and has conducted more than 5000 boat inspections to limit the spread of weeds between lakes. We also work with 35 local schools to eliminate invasive catfish.
The Trust’s wetland restoration mahi, Uwhi trial for the control of aquatic pest weeds, and training of Te Arawa whānau to become scientific divers has cemented our position as a key player in the region’s biosecurity sector, and led to the creation of more than 70 jobs for iwi.
Biosecurity manager William Anaru says the award acknowledges the significant impact made by hapū, iwi and marae communities, kura kaupapa Māori, kura ā iwi and schools, local government, organisations and trusts.
“Our whānau are the key to unlocking solutions for our Rotorua lakes and they are the drivers of kaupapa like the Uwhi, catfish management, aquatic weed management, wetland restoration and the build of a Te Arawa biosecurity workforce.
“The award will help shine an even brighter light on the work being done here and help towards creating more sustainable employment opportunities.
The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards celebrate the businesses, iwi, researchers and community groups that are doing vital work to protect New Zealand’s biosecurity.
Each category recognises the complexity of an effective, sustainable biosecurity system.