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Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance

The Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance was formed in 2017 by iwi and councils located at the top of the South Island and the Department of Conservation. The Alliance was established to support an integrated approach to helping nature and people thrive across Te Tauihu / the Top of the South and northern Buller.


Project background

Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance members are Buller, Tasman, Nelson, and Marlborough councils, the West Coast Regional Council, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trust, Te Pātaka a Ngāti Kōata Trust, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia Trust, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust, Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui Trust, Rangitāne o Wairau Settlement Trust, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the Department of Conservation.

The Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Strategy has been created by the Alliance to facilitate collective action, enable access to funding opportunities to enable and enhance delivery on biodiversity outcomes. Kotahitanga is about collaboration, working together to achieve shared outcomes that enhance and protect te Taiao, our natural heritage.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a global conservation organisation operating in over 70 countries worldwide, is partnering with the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance to deliver on the strategy.

An environmental restoration hui was held between 1– 3 August 2022 and brought approximately 65 participants together including Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance members and supporting organisations across Te Tauihu and Kawatiri.

A working group was formed and has identified several restoration initiatives for further development across the top of the South and Buller Kawatiri

The list of initiatives for Buller includes protection and restoration of the Kawatiri Coastal Trail corridor, establishing an extensive mainland island sanctuary bounded by the Old Ghost Road, the Buller and Mōkihinui Rivers and the Tasman Sea, identifying land optimisation opportunities, developing nature-based solutions to enhance Westport’s flood plain design; as well as a source to sea restoration of Deadman’s Creek to protect, connect and restore fragmented biodiversity, and a strategy to scope out options for Westport’s future town.

Buller District Council has been successful in acquiring $225K of direct funding through The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as part of the Government’s Jobs for Nature Programme to  deliver jobs and strategic weed control across the Top of the South Island.

The funding will be used to create a new fixed-term contractor role administered by the Buller District Council to support the planning and delivery of the Restoring and Protecting Flora project managed by TNC. 

The project will create jobs and enable large-scale organised weed management in significant natural areas and explore expanding the protection of these sites through QEII covenanting and other restoration activities.  Overall, this project will invest more than $1.4M in the Buller District over the next three years.

Conservation training and employment hub for Buller

The Buller District Council and Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP) have released papers outlining a partnership that will work with conservation employers to develop a Westport-based conservation learning and employment hub.


More information

If you would like to find out more about this project please use the below resources.