PRC took a day off mahi to travel to Pureora Forest Park where the headwaters for the Pūniu Awa are located. The purpose of the trip was to hear the stories of the ancient forest and to acknowledge all of the taonga that the ngahere provides.


We were lucky enough to have some whānau that are closely connected to Pureora Forest and the Waipā Awa to hear their stories and knowledge of history. Moera and Francis Hughes, who carry out their own water, fauna and flora monitoring at the top of the Waipā took us on a tour from Mangaokewa stream to the headwaters of the Waipā Awa within the ancient Pureora Forest.

To feel the connection with the whenua and the wairua within the ngahere was a humbling and grounding experience. Hearing the knowledge and the history of the area with its captivating stories of mischevious Patupaiarehe to then witnessing the natural regeneration of our native rākau, despite the mass pines that now take the place of a once dense and native ngahere gives us a sense of hope. We know that we are on the right track to help protect and preserve our taiao by continuing on our journey of restoration.

The concept behind the pou was to plant our mauri in the whenua at the headlands of the river. By having each person physically rub it, was the idea of giving a piece of your mauri to the pou that was planted in the ground, and by that having your mauri entrenched in the whenua ki reira, mo ake tonu atu.

This was also erected there as a koha of recognition ki ngā kaitiaki, Moera and Francis Hughes, for their genuine aroha and work over a vast piece of Aotearoa, ensuring it’s mana and legacy we know as “The Pureora” may live on forever and forever.