Saturday, February 2, 2013

マウンガタウタリ・エコロジカルアイランド Maungatautari Ecological Island

Koru- the spiraling fern fronds of Maungatautari
English translation below:
ポハラ・マラエ滞在中に、私たちはマウンガタウタリのマヌ・ティオリオリ(Manu Tioriori、素敵な鳴き声の鳥)というビジターセンターを訪れ、エコロジカルアイランドを見学しました。



While we were staying at Pohara Marae, before going on a tour of the ecological island in Maungatatautari, we stopped by a visitor center called Manu Tioriori, which means "beautiful songbirds."  Within this ecological island, surrounded by a predator proof fence, endangered specieis are being reintroduced and protected such as birds like the kiwi and kakapo, reptiles like the Tuatara. Ferns, which are very important to the Maori people, grow freely and in abundance. We were also able to see the silver fern, the symbol of the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby team.
   Lee Anne told us that her iwi (tribe) had contributed one fourth of their property to make this visitor's center.  The forest is maintained by a self-governing trust composed of citizens and other governing organizations. The conservation area is surrounded by a 47km fense and maintenance costs as much as 900,000 NZD annually.  Furthermore, thanks to the donation of Uncle Tao, the head of the Pohara Marae, the Tuatara has been able to be introduced into the forest.
   However, the fence cuts through not only iwi land, but farm land, and there are some people rising in protest for the fence to be torn down.  The iwi would like to make the ecological island a tourist destination, but will not proceed with developing plans until issues surrounding the fence are settled. Lee Anne's husband Craig commented that the reason they would like to make Maungatautari Ecological Island a tourist destination is because it is important for people to see noted that it is important for people to come here. Also, through tourism, the island can become self-maintaining and would not need to depend on the government or other outside sources for financial support.

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