Management of Maunga Pūtauaki
In March 2013, the trustees of Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust entered into a five year Biodiversity Management Agreement with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The focus of the Management Plan is five pronged:
- The restoration of indigenous vegetation
- The management of wilding pines and other pest plants
- Enhancing the habitat quality for bird species through the management of the animal pests
- Encouraging the regeneration of indigenous species
- Improving the condition of the existing forest
The main priorities for the 2013 year have included:
- Re surveying the bait station lines
- Survey work for bird counts are being negotiated with the only two providers of this service in the north island.
- Pest plant control has focused on Taiwan cherry and cotoneaster (both invasive weeds if not controlled)
- Eradicating wilding pine
In August 2013, the Trust cleared 10 hectares of wilding pines and weed and planted in Redwood and Lucitanica, as part of its multispecies planting programme. A further 10 hectares is currently being cleared, with planting to be undertaken in the New Year.
Tarawera Land Company has been investigating options aimed at improving the economic sustainability of its land.
In 2012, Tarawera Land Company received funding from Te Puni Kokiri to establish a trial plot of Ginseng, to test its suitability to the Tarawera Valley, and potential for commercialisation as an export crop to China. The approximate size of the trial plot is 1000m ² and is located in the lower lying area of the forest.
Based on findings from this trial the area identified appears to be a suitable site for ginseng production. Staff will continue to maintain and monitor the trial plot for 9 years, which could provide useful information for future plantings as well as a possible financial return to Tarawera Land Company. Close monitoring of plant survival and growth rates particularly in this first few years will be crucial before Tarawera Land Company undertake any commercial planting.
King of the Mountain
The King of the Mountain Race is an annual event held in Kawerau. Each year Kawerau District Council seek approval from Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust to hold this annual event on Mt. Pūtauaki. Comptitors run, walk and climb to reach the summit - 852 metres above sea level. If you wish to participate in this event please visit http://www.kaweraukingofthemountain.co.nz
In 2013, Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust signed an agreement with the Kawerau District Council. This agreement enables the Council to continue to draw water from Umukaraka Spring to supply the Kawerau township with water.
Understory Crops – Tarawera Forest
Tarawera Land Company is looking for opportunities to improve the economic returns on its land. In 2013, funding was obtained from the Ministry of Primary Industries to investigate options for cultivating understory crops on its land. In conjunction with Scion, Tarawera Land Company is working to develop a methodology for selecting potential understory crops for planted forests.