2022 AWARD FINALIST
Sponsored by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Kia Mouriora te Kaiwharawhara Sanctuary to Sea is a collaborative whole-of-catchment restoration initiative with a 100-year vision to heal the mauri (lifeforce) of the Kaiwharawhara catchment.
The project is led by Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne, with mana whenua Taranaki Whānui Te Ūpoko o Te Ika, and has strategic leadership from CentrePort, Wellington City Council, Department of Conservation, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Morphum Environmental Ltd, and Wellington Water. The wider Kaiwharawhara community are key stakeholders and drivers of the collective effort, and researchers support the work.
Like many of Aotearoa New Zealand’s waterways, the Kaiwharawhara faces significant challenges. Degraded water quality from old landfills and ageing infrastructure, modified water flows and major barriers to fish migration, are all impacting the health of the area.
The project's approach reflects the needs and the energy of the community. With Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne at the headwaters, actions taken within the sanctuary benefit biodiversity throughout the catchment. The awa flows through the largest whaitua (catchment) in central Wellington and is the only stream with an open estuary into the Wellington harbour.