For thousands of years water has been carving its way through papatūānuku to create the Ōkere Awa. For hundreds of years the Ōkere Awa has been a life source, providing sustenance and nurturing lives around it’s catchment. Like the water that has shaped its features, it has also shaped our lives and provided a pathway for us in a multitude of ways and experiences.
Who we are
From the first inception of a Zipline over the Kaituna/Ōkere River in 2018, there was the aspiration to work with and alongside mana whenua for whom this river is a sacred treasure and living ancestry.
For mana whenua (Ngāti Hinerangi/Ngāti Hinekiri, subtribes of Ngāti Pikiao) the Kaituna can be likened to that of a parent or provider, and in a symbolic sense the river unites traditional relationships and responsibilities. Ngāti Hinerangi/Hinekiri, are regarded as the kaitiaki or guardians at the top end of the River and including Lake Rotoiti (Te Roto-Whaiti-i-kite-ai-a-Ihenga-i-Ariki-ai-a Kahumatamomoe).
The first 11km/s of the river is known as Ōkere; in relation to a song that was sung to describe this relationship between Ngāti Hinerangi and Ngati Hinekiri. Building strong and enduring relationships with tangata whenua will help to influence the long-term sustainable economic well-being of the community we live in, which will include regular and ongoing engagement.
Tika, Pono and Aroha
Pono - working in partnership and making decisions that are made with integrity.
Aroha - We express empathy, compassion and joy for all those we engage with.
its cultural, social, environmental and economic diversity.
- An environment where all feel welcome and connected.
- Further ancestral knowledge through Wānanga.
- Enable pathways to showcase and extend knowledge of te aō Māori.
- Develop employment opportunities that enable tangata
whenua to mahi on their whenua and share their stories.
- Develop an equity fund that makes the prospect of home ownership within grasp of our immediate kaimahi.
- Whare model that enables a strong support network.
- Community Garden enabling self sufficient kai.
- Plant 100,000 native trees by 2025.
- Climate positive to offset x 3600 homes.
- To create and develop a public accessible predator free sanctuary.
- Community hub for waste reduction.
- Pollution catchments on all inflows.
- Develop above living wage / meaningful employment.
- Equity Growth for kaimahi.
- To nurture community business development.
Our first mission was to remove gorse and other invasive weeds to reduce this nitrogen leaking and fast track our reforestation process.
As we journey deeper into our mission, the ecosystem's reliance on all parts has become more clear. The fragile hinges on which Aotearoa's indigenous flora and fauna hangs require our immediate actions to ensure their place in our world. As we established our infrastructure it became apparent that our forest was in dire need of help. 150 year old natives trees were falling down due to the impacts of introduced species like the possum. Bird life had become sparse from introduced predators and our efforts had to be broadened to keep our towering trees standing tall and proud.
This enabled us to fly through branches to reduce any trimming. It provided the ability for us to weave our way through the canopy.
To anchor our lines we needed something that would have a micro footprint that could be flexible around the root systems. Our anchors are only 65mm in diameter but 6m deep. This method meant the use of no machinery further reducing our footprint on our surrounding
We used untreated treads to reduce any leaching of chemicals into the environment. We chose the path of less resistance and transplanted any vegetation within the corridor.
THE MAUNGA (MOUNTAIN)
But how could we do this in a fun and sustainable manor? We stumbled upon some used farm 4x4 side by sides that no longer went.
We also were caught up in the EV sustainability debate around the short life span of the battery. So, we found a Nissan Leaf crashed and ready to be scrapped.
We stripped the motors and with some Ōkere Falls/Mourea ingenuity we up-cycled the Nissan Leaf and Yamaha Viking into the world's first 6 seater electric off road machine.
HOW WE BUILT THE ZIP
This is not because of the scale of our course nor the complexity of our systems but due to our care for the Ōkere Awa and its surrounds.
When you are building a zipline on bare land it is as simple as walking the line from one end to the other and anchoring it to the ground. It’s easy to see where you are going, there are no objects in your path, so long as you have a relative gradient you will be flying in no time.
With our course many of the lines have no line of sight, our mission to have a minimalist footprint has been deeply thought through.