About this work
The Puhinui Stream flows from Totara Park near Auckland’s Botanic Gardens in Manurewa. It continues through Ōtara and Papatoetoe, out to the Manukau Harbour.
We're working to regenerate the entire stream and its catchment, addressing a range of ecological, economic and social issues. This is being done through an interwoven partnership between mana whenua, businesses, local authorities and philanthropy.
The work centres around restoring the life in and around the stream, with a focus on indigenous knowledge and approaches. It includes the development of a local circular economy to radically reduce waste and increase resource recovery. We also plan to develop training for local people to establish careers around the continuation of this work.
An initial grant of $1 million from the Department of Conservation's Mahi mo te Taiao (Jobs for Nature) Fund enables us to support local groups working on the ground. We're now brokering further partnerships and investment with organisations throughout the Sustainable Business Network and beyond.
We aim to raise $16 million over the next five years for this work. This will train and employ more than 50 local people in a range of new careers that continue to address these issues.
Problems in the Puhinui
- Communities: In South Auckland unemployment is high and wages low. The local community scores low on key measures of health and well-being. Local job prospects are limited. They often take the form of low paid labor work without career development prospects. In the last two years the global Covid-19 pandemic has hit already struggling communities hardest.
- Land: An urban, heavily polluted cityscape has engulfed once thriving landscapes. Urban tree cover and access to greenspaces is the lowest in the Auckland region.
- Stream: The Puhinui Stream has been degraded over many decades. Rubbish and pollution accumulate day after day in the stream. Many stretches of the stream are piped or channelised without natural banks and green margins.
Local iwi collective, Te Waiohua (Te Ākitai, Ngāti Tamaoho and Ngāti Te Ata) has led development of the award-winning ‘Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui Strategy’.
Released in December 2020 and featured at COP26 in 2021 it is the charter for the regeneration of the Puhinui and its communities that informs the project.
There is a pipeline of significant infrastructure investment planned for this area over the next twenty plus years. This includes the removal of some 'hard infrastructure', like concrete channels and culverts and restoration of the stream. We intend to help create a South Auckland-based skilled workforce to support this planned work.
Can you help?
This initiative needs more investment. We're working with our extensive network and approaching businesses to invest in the programme. We're also approaching philanthropic organisations for funding support. We are developing a range of investment packages to grow this programme.
Your business can:
- Sponsor a range of career opportunities
- Support local native tree nurseries, seed banks, tools and equipment
- Contribute to the buying of native trees for restoration
- Regular detailed reporting on the impact your contribution is having on:
- training local people and local groups
- stimulating the local economy
- restoring the stream
- stimulating further investment
- To share personal impact stories from employees benefiting from your support
- Regular opportunities for staff and clients to meet with local people working on and employed in the project and see the work they are doing
- Promotion of the partnership through SBN's media channels