27 May 2015

QE11 Trust and Maori in sync on land protection

9:59 pm on 27 May 2015

The QE11 National Trust, Nga Kairauhi Papa, has today celebrated the registration of its 4000th covenant.

The trust was formed in 1979 and it now protects 180,000 hectares of land, an area the size of Rakiura, Stewart Island.

The covenanted land stays in the hands of its owner, but has the added protection of the trust.

Landowners, including Maori, have put land under the protection of the trust to safeguard special natural and cultural features.

The late Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu covenanted land in 1989.

A director of the Trust, Gina Solomon from Ngati Kuri, said the philosophies and values of the trust and Maori are in sync.

"They are so in line with iwi values on kaitiakitanga and protecting the land and the biodiversity and for future generations, so covenants in perpetuity and so the Māori world is pretty much about the next generation, for us now and for our children to come."

Gina Solomon said she was always excited to meet and talk to the many covenantors around the country, and felt humbled to be part of it.

"I hear their stories on just how special their places are to them and what they are trying to do."

The Trust's first covenant was created in 1979 by the Trust's founder, Gordon Stephenson and his wife Celia in Waikato.

Today's celebration centred around the creation of the 4000th covenant by Keith and Margaret Ormsby on their Otorohanga dairy farm.

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