Ko Tāngonge Te Wai: Challenges Of Restoration And Management Of A Flood Plain Lake

TitleKo Tāngonge Te Wai: Challenges Of Restoration And Management Of A Flood Plain Lake
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBrockbank, T., Henwood W., Gregory W., Moewaka-Barnes H., & McCreanor T.
Conference NameNew Zealand Stormwater Conference
Date Published05/2014
PublisherWater New Zealand
Conference LocationChristchurch
KeywordsCatchment, collaboration, flooding, indigenous, iwi Māori, sewerage, Stormwater, wetland restoration

Historically, Lake Tāngonge was one of the most important mahinga kai of the Te Hiku o Te Ika iwi providing abundant aquatic and dry crop food resources. Tāngonge is now a wetland system in a peat basin overlying sand substrate, fed by artesian sources, local catchments and the Awanui River, near Kaitaia, Northland, New Zealand.

In the 1930s the Lake was drained in a major government scheme to make way for Pakeha settlement, aid farming development and mitigate flood inundations of the
Kaitaia Township. The experience of land alienation and environmental degradation created barriers to its use, food production, kaitiakitanga knowledge and practices and prevented local Māori interaction with the environment. This impacted on the cultural and ecological integrity of the catchment.

As a result of Treaty settlement processes, significant areas of Tāngonge will be returned as cultural redress in 2014. The collective vision of the iwi is to restore the
taonga as a wetland that will rekindle engagement with and usage of Tāngonge by manawhenua and local communities. This paper tells the story of Tāngonge and
presents challenges of restoration from a manawhenua perspective.