Church and iwi collaborate for stream clean-up

Church and iwi collaborate for stream clean-up

More than 70 parishioners from our All Saints Palmerston North whānau turned up to plant trees and clean up Kawa Stream at Colquhoun Park on Sunday the 30th of June. The event was a collaboration with Tanenuiarangi Manawatū Incorporated (TMI), the mandated iwi authority for Rangitaane O Manawatū.

Siobhan Lynch of TMI opened with a kaupapa about the importance of the stream to the natural descendants of the hapu of Rangitaane, saying, “For a thousand years this stream had fed the Awapuni Lagoon and was the resource harvest and food basket for our people until the lagoon was drained by Pākehā for settlement. It’s been left in a devastated condition until now.”

In addition to removing rubbish and clearing debris, over 300 harakeke plants were strategically planted on the stream’s banks before the afternoon concluded with a BBQ and shared meal.

Reverend Andy Hickman from All Saints spoke a karakia over the land and stream on behalf of the parish, and attendees sang a waiata in honour of Rangitaane iwi. “It’s not just about environmental care, but also about how we as a Christian community are here to value the taonga of tāngata whenua and contribute to the holistic wellbeing of our city.”

Siobhan said this was the first time that a church had offered to help TMI with its environmental work and was grateful for the skilled contributions made by All Saints members. The parish has committed to further collaboration with TMI and plans are underway for the next stage of development in the stream’s restoration.

Main photo: Odie Barsanti, and her nephew Daniel Barsanti (5)