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Kiwi named in honour of late Joseph Harawira, QSM

Ian Tarei and family from Omataroa Kiwi Project holding kiwi chick JoeJoe with EPA Board member Dayle Hunia (far right).

The newest addition to the Omataroa Kiwi Project, a three-month old kiwi, has been named ‘JoeJoe’ in honour of the late Te Herenga member and iwi leader Joseph (Hohepa) Harawira, QSM.

The naming took place this week at the regional Te Herenga hui in Whakatane, which was co-hosted by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and the Environmental Protection Authority.

Dayle Hunia, EPA Board member and Associate Trustee Omataroa-Rangitaiki No 2 Trust, surprised participants at the hui by introducing them to the newest addition to the kiwi breeding and biodiversity programme.

"Mr Harawira’s bio-remediation work in Kopeopeo and the wider Whakatane area was a main focus at the hui, so it’s fitting the attendees chose to name the kiwi JoeJoe in his honour,” says Dayle.

"A big part of Omataroa Kiwi Project’s approach is to have kiwis living free. With the naming Joseph’s work will continue to live on in spirit.

"There are many challenges in breeding and protecting kiwis. Nationally, about three kiwi are killed each day. The main threats to kiwi are; loss of habitat, dogs, stoats, and, cats amongst others," says Dayle.

The Omataroa Kiwi Project has an objective to protect Kiwi populations and the wider bio-diversity values of the forest. It’s situated on 546ha of Māori land in the hills behind Awakeri and Te Teko, near Whakatane.

Ian Tarei, Kaitiaki and Manager Omataroa Kiwi Project spoke with hui attendees about his work in the project since it began 11 years ago. JoeJoe is the 76th chick release for the programme.

"The hui is a great opportunity for the EPA to establish a strong relationship with Ngāti Awa and also other iwi representatives from throughout the Bay of Plenty area, and to discuss issues with a regional focus and find ways to solve environmental issues,” says Dayle.

 

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