Take a look at LAWA’s latest film featuring the Puniu River in the Waikato.

The Puniu got its name from Patupaiarehe – Māori fairies – that traveled down the fiver from Pureora Forest to Pirongia. The local Māori people identify themselves as being one with the river and one with the land. They believe that if we all take care of the river we take care of ourselves at the same time.

The Puniu River Care Project, a Rangatahi Marae based initiative made up of the four Marae along the Puniu River, is working on the restoration of the river so their children can swim, bird life and insects return, and the natural environment is restored. This project has brought the community together and given local people jobs.

The project ran a horticultural course so people could learn and about plants the how to grow them. It established a nursery, and is working with farmers and land owners to help get their streams planted up.

What a great project. Well done to all those involved.