Te Waro Block Waterfall
Photo by Doug Macredie

GIS supports a future for Te Waro Block

Herenga ā Nuku has been working with the owners of Te Waro A Block to support access to a section of land that many previously thought was landlocked.

Te Waro A Block is a 1000-hectare block of native forests owned by an ahu whenua trust. The trustees had difficulties using the land because they perceived it was inaccessible due to there being no formed road.

With support from Herenga ā Nuku, the trust has identified two unformed legal roads that give access to the block. They have worked with the council to confirm access to their land along those unformed roads and with adjacent private landowners.

That has allowed them to begin exploring the block in a systematic way that has not happened for many years.

In the past, foresters had logged large canopy trees in the block, which means there is a network of informal logging roads and tracks. The trees have regrown, and the remnant of old informal roads are now largely overgrown. GPS support from Herenga ā Nuku has helped identify some of the old roads, and they now form practical access routes for the owners to explore the block.

The trustees are working with DOC to identify and quantify important bird and plant life in the block. DOC is providing cameras and sound recording equipment to help this work.There are also populations of long tailed bats living in the block. These bats are currently classified at the highest level of risk being “threatened - nationally critical”. There may also be populations of kākā and kōkako.

The block also has many waterways with significant mana and history.

The owners are still working on their long-term vision for the block now that they have better potential access. Some ideas include creating a network of trails to significant bluffs, rivers, and significant places, building cabins, rock climbing access, and enabling mountain biking. The focus will likely be on creating accessible outdoor experiences for the many trustees, their whanau and community.

Te Waro A Block Map