Matariki in the Zone
Although Sunday 19th of June dawned gloomy and cold, the Matariki in the Zone event to celebrate two years since the Mahinga Kai Exemplar was launched, was anything but gloomy.
At least 300 keen souls turned out to enjoy a day out in Anzac Drive Reserve, surrounded by red zone paddocks, where they were pleasantly entertained by local musicians whilst supping on soup and hangi. The atmosphere was just lovely and friendly, and having so many kids there just made the day so successful.
Food was plentiful and the kids and families seemed very enthusiastic about doing any activities that were available. Guided by talented craftspeople from Ngai Tahu, some tried their hand at making mokihi -raupo reed waka (boats) and others were shown how to collect, prepare and weave harakeke (flax) to make kete (bags) in workshops throughout the day. Demonstrations in weaving beautiful wahukura,(baby bassinets) were given by Katarina Tawiri and Christine Brown to promote healthy sleeping, and an impressive display of whakairo (carving) was given by local Dallas Matoe.
EOS Ecology presented their Whaka Inaka: Whitebait project, some of which had been undertaken in the Exemplar with excellent results. They took people on an inanga egg hunt where they could view inanga spawning habitats.
Colin Muerk was available to talk about his work on the 360 Degree trail around Christchurch, Naturewatch, Travis Wetland Trust and his ecological work at Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research.
Avon-Otakaro Forest Park promoted native forest regeneration throughout the red zone.
Alan McDonald explained the Department of Conservation's aims of pest eradication and Nick Moody from Environment Canterbury brought along a display of the effects of stormwater on the environment.
On display in the ECan tent were some excellent prize-winning artworks by students from Waitakiri and Rawhiti Schools. The art competition asked students to draw their visions for the red zone - what would they like to see in 10-15 years.
Kids were happily entertained at the Matariki event by a treasure hunt, colouring in and planting of 100 native trees and an extension of the orchard, with underplanting of flowering plants to attract bees. The planting went off well and we now have a fantastic orchard and have filled in some empty spaces in the existing native planting from June 2014.
Evan Smith and Teoti Jardine set up a great display, complete with audio visuals of what we, Avon-Otakaro Network has achieved as a group over the last couple of years. Much of this has been in the Mahinga Kai Exemplar, planting over 4000 trees, bringing local communities together and engaging with schools.
Here's a short video by Michal one of our fantastic volunteers:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LnY9Pd9XKc&feature=youtu.be A huge thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to come and help.