Kia ora koutou katoa!
Welcome to our paa harakeke (New Zealand flax) journey at the Owhiro Community Gardens site.
Since the Owhiro mara (gardens) started in 2004, an awesome variety of harakeke has been planted to support the mara and the awa (stream). We want to build on the hard work of the people who made that happen. So the next step is to awhi (support) and further develop the paa harakeke (harakeke sites) and plant other types of plants so that we can have an ecosystem that can be used for traditional Maori weaving.
There are three main aspects to our Mahi Harakeke (Harakeke project):
Over the last couple of weeks we have focused on awhi for the paa harakeke. We have been busy clearing all the weeds from around the paa harakeke. This is a massive job and we have been really grateful for the Corrections teams and kaimahi (hardworkers) that have helped us. We are already seeing a difference to the paa harakeke as we tidy it up to prepare it for harvesting. And there is plenty more mahi to do!
We are also now learning matauranga Maori (traditional Maori knowledge and customs) to ensure our whakapapa and tupuna connections with the harakeke are strong and that the paa harakeke is sustainably used. As a result we are now cutting, processing and disposing of the harakeke under tikanga Maori.
As well, the awa which is the only open stream left in Wellington is an important part of our paa harakeke ecosystem. We are cleaning the harakeke to support the beautiful mauri of this taonga and the tuna that live under the harakeke rau (leaves) drooping over the edges of the awa. We are also clearing the smaller waipuna (spring sites) and streams that flow from the hill and feed our paa harakeke and pond.
This is an exciting new mahi (project) and we’ll keep updating you on our progress over the coming weeks and months. So if you are enthusiastic and interested in paa harakeke and toi Maori then we would love to hear from you, noreira:
Hutia te rito o te harakeke
Kei whea te kōmako e kō?
Kī mai ki ahau; He aha te mea nui o te Ao?
Māku e kī atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata...