Joe Harawira is a member of Department of Conservation’s Kahui Kura Taiao network.

His role is:”To provide advice and support to National Office staff (and other staff) to integrate kaupapa atawhai in their work, with the aim of increasing the value of conservation to all New Zealanders.”

With this in mind, the Kahui Kura Taiao network has looked for ways to better work with recovery groups, providing advice and support to enable the groups’ pro-active communication and engagement with iwi.

“I have only been in the role for about six months. I have an interest in all taonga species and their stories,” Joe says.

Why kiwi?

Kiwi are a taonga species in New Zealand. Joe says that “makes them an important part of the Māori paradigm of connectivity and connectedness to the heartbeat of the natural world and biodiversity.”

High points

“I was involved in a number of kiwi translocations in my role as a Pou Kura Taiao for the Waikato Conservancy from 2000–2009,” he says. As part of his role, Joe organised the host iwi to meet with the iwi from whose rohe the kiwi were ‘sourced’.

Low point

A low point for Joe is hearing of the dog attacks in Northland. Without them, Norhtland’s brown kiwi would be self-sustaining.

Thoughts for the future

“I really appreciate the work done by the kiwi recovery teams and the funders of this national icon.”