Waikanae Ki Uta Ki Tai

A unique Treaty house partnership to identify common values for the Waikanae Awa

The Project was established in 2019.

The project works in a “Treaty House Partnership” with Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai as the ‘Iwi house’ and with Department of Conservation (DOC), Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and Kāpiti Coast District Council (KCDC) aligning their roles as the ‘kawanatanga (government) house’.

Ti ara ra, Ti ara ra, i a Waikanae
Ti ara mai i a Nuku
Ti ara mai i a Rangi
Ti ara mai te pūtahitanga o te wai
Tō mātāpono, To matatika
Ka koropupū te waipuna ki roto
Ka hora atu te waipuna ki waho.
Ti ara ra. Ti, ti, ti, hā!

Awaken, Awaken, the river Waikanae
Awaken the earth
Awaken the heavens
Awaken the convergence of our two waters
May we be guided by our principled action and ethical ways
So that our collective wellspring is imbued inherently,
And manifested throughout our community.
Awaken. All life is awoken!

Governance Group

Oversees the work. Comprised of Iwi representative John Barrett, KCDC Mayor Guru, GWRC Councillor Penny Gaylor and DOC District Manager Angus Hulme-Muir.

Terms of Reference

Approved by the Governance Group. Tasks the Steering Committee with starting development of an Action Plan based on shared values and priorities, to support the life and health of the awa and its community for future generations. 

Steering Committee

Comprises Iwi Members Bill Carter, Rawhiti Higgott, Sharlene Maoate-Davis and Les Mullen, and community members Bianca Begovich, Jocelyn Prvanov, and Phillip Stroud. There is also a Communications Sub-committee.

The project is supported by a secretariat and access to a Knowledge Sub-committee of many experts. There is also a Communications subcommittee. 

The programme’s foundation partners are Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, Kāpiti Coast District Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and DOC. 

The unique Kaupapa of the
working group:

• Working under the Treaty House model
• Investing in the time to get to know and understand each other
• Working in a wananga format with consensus decision making
• Starting with values and creating an overall big picture approach

The steps we are taking:

• An initial round of engagement with some community groups and mana whenua
• Visiting key sites on the Awa and talking with experts • Learning from the Iwi Kaitiakitanga Plan
• Finding Common Values
• Articulating common priority objectives
• Generating example Action ideas
• Reviewing the knowledge that we have and the knowledge that we need

A Short History

The project was launched in 2019 with support by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage, who said:

“I am pleased to advise you that the Waikanae River has been chosen as one of 14 priority river catchments across New Zealand, with the aim to restore them to ‘a healthy functioning state’ in partnership with others. This will see the Department fully supporting a vision of restoring the Waikanae river from mountains to sea, and bringing to the table operational and technical staff and resources to contribute to achieving that vision collaboratively with iwi,
Greater Wellington, Kapiti District Council and the Waikanae community.”

Jobs for Nature nature funding was celebrated by a visit by Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allen in January 2021. 

Waikanae River Catchment area map

Priority Project

The Waikanae Jobs for Nature Project

The Waikanae Jobs for Nature project is a 4-year project committing $8.5 million to providing employment of 92 full time equivalents (an average of 23 employees per annum).

The Waikanae Jobs for Nature (WJFN) project is being aligned with the Waikanae Ki Uta Ki Tai (WKUKT) programme with the aim of providing a long term coordinated voice and programme of action for the river.  Both initiatives are a partnership of Waikanae mana whenua Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai (ĀKW), Kāpiti Coast District Council (KCDC), Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and the Department of Conservation / Te Papa Atawhai.  Both are founded in the same six key kaupapa of Whakapapa, Wairua, Mana, Māramatanga,Te Ao Tūroa, and Mauri.

The WJFN project aims to build capacity and employment within the Iwi Ātiawa Ki Whakarongotai and the Kapiti community and to achieve environmental improvements. With regular training programmes, education classes and a nursery, this project is further activating Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai (ĀKW) as Kaitiaki.  A vision of the project is to develop teams that can work across the rohe, helping to restore the awa, the ngahere, and ngā tamariki a Tāne that reside within.

Members of the Waikanae community may have seen Jobs for Nature work already unfolding in the Waikanae Estuary, Hemi Matenga Historic Scenic Reserve or Paraparaumu Scenic Reserve. Riparian management and sustainable land management work is unfolding on iwi-owned and private land in the middle and upper catchment. A new training centre and nursery site was recently opened at Otaraua Park. First coordinated plant and animal pest management strategies are being developed for the whole Waikanae catchment.

WJFN is lead by Paekakariki-based Groundtruth Limited. Founded in 2003, Groundtruth is based in Paekākāriki on the Kāpiti Coast. They provide services and technology to primary industry and conservation sectors. Their specialty is combining sustainable land management practices with innovative technologies. They have expertise in the management of forests, agriculture, soil, water, biodiversity and technology systems. Their belief that the health of our ecosystems is inseparable from the health of the people and communities that live within them is a great fit for our kaupapa. For all enquiries  j4n@groundtruth.co.nz.

Waikanae Jobs For Nature


Download our 2021 engagement document