Wellington Regional Biodiversity Framework

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The Collaborative Working Group has now been formed

Designing a shared way forward for our region's biodiversity


The Collaborative Working Group (CWG)

The CWG was established in May 2019. This group is developing the framework for supporting and joining up efforts to improve native biodiversity across the Wellington Region.

“As a new group we’re committed to working together in a shared way that is informed by our region’s unique biodiversity approaches, past, present and future. In the end, we are each responsible for the legacy we leave for future generations.” - Sharlene Maoate-Davis, co-chair of the group


Our achievements

The initial conceptual framework has been developed. Over the next few months, we will be adding to and collectively weaving the framework.

Our achievements so far include:

  • A launch at Te Papa to introduce the working group (20 July 2019)
  • Exploring what Mātauranga Maori means to each member of the group
  • Establishing how we will work as a group – kawa and tikanga
  • Presenting at the Wellington workshop for the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy discussion document
  • Attendance and presenting at regional forums
  • Developing the foundation of the framework

We expect to complete the project by June 2021 and will be testing concepts, ideas and proposals with the wider community as we go.


Background to CWG

Our region is full of enthusiastic people and agencies working hard to improve this unique environment. Planting trees, protecting rivers, supporting native birds, cleaning up coastlines and more.

All this effort is going a long way to restoring the damage done to our ecosystems over time. However there’s still much more we can do.

So we’re taking the opportunity to help connect all our conservation efforts, work better together, and take even bigger steps forward for the environment in our region.


The project to get us there

The Wellington Regional Biodiversity Framework (WRBF) project will bring together agencies, mana whenua, NGOs, community groups, industry groups, and others to design a Framework.

The Framework will look at voluntary approaches to supporting biodiversity and also acknowledge related policies and regulations.


The process

This project was started by Greater Wellington Regional Council in partnership with mana whenua and the Department of Conservation. We ran a series of workshops in 2018 to identify opportunities.

We then made an open call on this page for applicants to apply to be on the Collaborative Working Group (CWG) for the project.

Our role now becomes group member, supporter and facilitator. The group, independently co-chaired in partnership with mana whenua, will drive the project forward.

To read the terms of reference for the group, see the document library to the right.

The Terms of Reference were set in place when the Working Group formed in 2019. Recently, a different version of the ToR (dated February 2020) was mistakenly provided here. The original, and still current, ToR has now be reinstated. We apologise for any confusion or inconvenience.


To stay informed of the progress of this project, click on the 'register for updates' button at the top of this page.



Designing a shared way forward for our region's biodiversity


The Collaborative Working Group (CWG)

The CWG was established in May 2019. This group is developing the framework for supporting and joining up efforts to improve native biodiversity across the Wellington Region.

“As a new group we’re committed to working together in a shared way that is informed by our region’s unique biodiversity approaches, past, present and future. In the end, we are each responsible for the legacy we leave for future generations.” - Sharlene Maoate-Davis, co-chair of the group


Our achievements

The initial conceptual framework has been developed. Over the next few months, we will be adding to and collectively weaving the framework.

Our achievements so far include:

  • A launch at Te Papa to introduce the working group (20 July 2019)
  • Exploring what Mātauranga Maori means to each member of the group
  • Establishing how we will work as a group – kawa and tikanga
  • Presenting at the Wellington workshop for the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy discussion document
  • Attendance and presenting at regional forums
  • Developing the foundation of the framework

We expect to complete the project by June 2021 and will be testing concepts, ideas and proposals with the wider community as we go.


Background to CWG

Our region is full of enthusiastic people and agencies working hard to improve this unique environment. Planting trees, protecting rivers, supporting native birds, cleaning up coastlines and more.

All this effort is going a long way to restoring the damage done to our ecosystems over time. However there’s still much more we can do.

So we’re taking the opportunity to help connect all our conservation efforts, work better together, and take even bigger steps forward for the environment in our region.


The project to get us there

The Wellington Regional Biodiversity Framework (WRBF) project will bring together agencies, mana whenua, NGOs, community groups, industry groups, and others to design a Framework.

The Framework will look at voluntary approaches to supporting biodiversity and also acknowledge related policies and regulations.


The process

This project was started by Greater Wellington Regional Council in partnership with mana whenua and the Department of Conservation. We ran a series of workshops in 2018 to identify opportunities.

We then made an open call on this page for applicants to apply to be on the Collaborative Working Group (CWG) for the project.

Our role now becomes group member, supporter and facilitator. The group, independently co-chaired in partnership with mana whenua, will drive the project forward.

To read the terms of reference for the group, see the document library to the right.

The Terms of Reference were set in place when the Working Group formed in 2019. Recently, a different version of the ToR (dated February 2020) was mistakenly provided here. The original, and still current, ToR has now be reinstated. We apologise for any confusion or inconvenience.


To stay informed of the progress of this project, click on the 'register for updates' button at the top of this page.



The Collaborative Working Group has now been formed

  • Update

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    2020 was a year of change and challenges for all of us. We are moving ahead steadily on a co-designed framework to better support volunteer and agency efforts, and to help encourage change. We have engaged professional facilitators to help us develop the next stage of the work – pulling together what we have done, getting the message out and completing the mahi.

    There have been a few changes to the team and we want to thank Liam Daly, Danielle Shanahan, Paul Ward, Maggie Ford, Barry Wards, Paul Shortis and Quentin Duthie for their mahi, and wish them well on their next endeavors. Ra Smith has taken up the reins of co-chair alongside Sharlene Maoate-Davis. We also welcome Te Raukura Solomon and Steve Bielby to the group.

  • Meet the group - full biographies

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    by Sophie G,
    supporting image


    Sharlene Maoate-Davis (Co-chair)

    Ngāti Wehiwehi, Ngāti Huia, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngai Tahu, Taranaki, Te Ātiawa

    Sharlene has been working as a Maori consultant and facilitator since 2002. Born in her tribal home of Kāpiti, Sharlene has worked across sectors in Iwi and Māori health, education and social services. She has worked in professional development as a cultural supervisor, designed and trained thousands of whānau, hapū, iwi and community practitioners.

    Sharlene is also an experienced Rongoā practitioner, having managed a Rongoā service in the tribal heart of Waikanae since 2014-2016. Since 2017 she has been instrumental in delivering the Certificate in Rongoā Māori Appreciation. She co-designed and currently delivers a new Diploma in Rongoā for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. She recently co-founded an iwi Rongoā collective now offering services across the A.R.T Confederation.

    As co-chair, Sharlene is committed to embedding mātauranga and tikanga-a-iwi in the approaches and practices being implemented throughout the development and implementation of the biodiversity framework. She especially looks forward to the collaborative nature of this region-wide project, and the potential to leave an indelible imprint for the generations to come.

    Rawiri Smith (Co-chair & Eastern ohu representative)

    Ko Maungaraki taku maunga

    Ko Ruamahanga taku awa

    Ko Wairarapa taku moana

    Ko Kourarau taku roto

    Ko Makahakaha taku manga

    Ko Wairakau taku puna

    Ko Parikauiti taku taniwha

    Ho Hurunui-o-Rangi taku marae

    Rawiri Smith is from the Wairarapa. He applied to be on the Biodiversity Collaborative Working Group because our community has valued the iwi perspective. He brings experience in collaborative processes from the Ruamahanga Whaitua. He was an iwi representative on that group and enjoyed how this perspective connected with other viewpoints.

    Paul Blaschke

    Dr Paul Blaschke is an independent environmental consultant and teacher. He was born in Wellington, and lives in south Wellington where he is active in several local restoration and community groups. With a background in ecological survey and research, Paul has much experience in environmental policy, planning and management in the public and private sectors. He has worked on the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and many aspects of conservation, biodiversity and sustainable land management policies, and recently been most active in applied urban ecology management. He currently teaches environmental studies at Victoria University of Wellington and has also taught environmental health to public health students.

    Paul comments: "I'm excited to be working with my co-chairs Sharlene and Quentin, and all the members of the Working Group. Between us we have many years of working experience, science and mātauranga knowledge in all parts of our environment. I think we can play an important role in joining up the biodiversity effort around the whole region and integrating biodiversity thinking into all aspects of the society-wide response needed to address the urgent climate change and other environmental issues facing us”.

    Zoe Studd

    Zoe grew up in Ngaio, and now lives in Titahi Bay. Her passion is connecting people to the environment, and she does that daily in her work primarily with young people. She thinks Wellington is in a great position to lead a change in the way we think and act in, with and for our environment. As she puts it, "We have a lot of challenges and opportunities ahead. However – it is not a job for the youth of today to sort out the problems we have created and inherited. It’s ours." Her hope is this group will take some big steps forwards with this work.

    Zoe’s work and studies have always been connected to the marine environment - firstly as a dive instructor in Kaikoura and Samoa, and through her studies in marine environmental science in Australia. This led to work with the Ministry for the Environment on Oceans Policy and Climate Change, and then with Victoria Government on a large scale marine mapping project. She took a career side path into education in 2010 and worked briefly as a classroom teacher - but quickly moved into outdoor environmental education, and for the better part of the past 6 years has managed and delivered marine and freshwater education programmes, restoration support and citizen science endeavours.

    She is now the director of the Mountains to Sea Wellington Trust. The team work across the Greater Wellington region with schools, community groups and many other partner organisations to help inspire kaitiakitanga for our rivers, harbours and coasts.

    Sharli-Jo Solomon (Western ohu representative)

    Sharli-Jo (Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira) is the Western ohu representative on the working group. She is animated when she speaks of her life growing up in a playground from Kaitoki to Reikorangi.

    Her lifelong passion is for the environment, which is evident in the range of activities, events and committees she has been, and is, part of. She either has been, or is, a member of the Whitireia Park Board, Conservation Volunteers, Porirua Harbour and Catchment Joint Committee, Keep Porirua Beautiful, Takapuwahia Village Planning Committee and Te Awarua-o-Porirua Whaitua. In 2015, Sharli-Jo was acknowledged by Porirua City Council for her commitment to revitalising the harbour and natural environment.

    “The relationship our whānau have with the land and sea helped shape the people we are today and provided the basis of our commitment to the environment. I am pleased to have the opportunity to represent our iwi,” Sharli-Jo says.

    Jenny Ngarimu (Central ohu representative)

    Ko Rangituhi me Whitireia oku Maunga

    Raukawakawa te moana

    Ko Ngati Toa, Te Ati Awa me Ngati Raukawa oku Iwi

    Ko Tainui te waka

    Jenny lives within her whanau and hapu in Hongoeka Bay, Plimmerton. She and her whanau have grown up learning about their environment; they have lived off the sea and the land and were taught from an early age the importance of the health of their moana, awa and whenua.

    She has had a varied working life, with a background in finance as well as social services from junior to senior management positions. She has owned her own business, and worked within her whanau, hapu and Iwi.

    Currently she is working with the local council to effect better outcomes for our people in terms of Maori land ownership, ensuring that they are able to access services that are the “norm” for other ratepayers, and building relationships that seek to enhance our cultural values and beliefs.

    Jenny see the biodiversity space as a priority for our future generations, that they will also be able to enjoy an enriched environment without pollution.

    Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa.

    Daniela Biaggio

    Daniela Biaggio is originally from Argentina. She migrated to Wellington five years ago and lives in Ngaio with her partner and daughter, and is expecting the newest addition to her family. She began her career captivated by the behaviours of animals, and after many years of working in the environmental field, she is now fascinated by human behaviour and how it relates to nature. Her current role as Manager for Urban Ecology at Wellington City Council allows her to continue this interest.

    She knows life is better when we are surrounded by nature and wants to ensure Wellington is a region where we can all benefit from that. She joined this collaborative working group because she is confident we can achieve great outcomes to our biodiversity challenges through collective impact. She works on weaving professional efforts, empowered community action, research, and evaluation to achieve a shared vision. She is passionate about local government improving decision making for the environment and accessing knowledge for better management.

    Sam Ludden

    Sam is a professional artist with 20 years’ experience in ceramic sculpture and pottery. He works from his home studio, Dirty Fingers Pottery, in Masterton.

    He trained in ceramics and fine arts in Wanganui under the tuition of Ross Mitchel-Anion. He then travelled widely and worked as a potter in places such as the Czech Republic and Provence France, where he had a studio in Biot (close to those of people like Matisse, Picasso and Léger).

    The craft of kaitiakitanga guides his work and actions with his interest in his Wairarapa birthplace, its culture, its landscapes, its threatened flora and fauna, influencing his style. He is passionate about waterways and what lives in them, from the mountains to the sea. His strength is communication of complex ideas through the language of art.

    Andy McKay

    Andy was born in West Auckland, but grew up in New Plymouth. He currently lives in Paekākāriki.

    He has been involved in community conservation projects for the past 15 years. He is currently the convener for Ngā Uruora - Kāpiti Project, and is on the governance board for the Kāpiti Coast Biodiversity Project.

    He joined the working group as he is interested in contributing to a framework that leads to better support for community conservation groups, and opportunities to share knowledge and resources between the various groups.

    Steve Bielby

    Steve is a Community Ranger with DOC’s Kāpiti Wellington District, based at Kenepuru. His work is mostly Kāpiti based, and includes Waikanae ki Uta ki Tai (mountains to sea) restoration and Jobs for Nature projects. Steve represents DOC as a partner in Mauri Tūhono, including its role in Te Mana o te Taiao, the National Biodiversity Strategy.

    Ali Caddy

    "It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be working with this group as the Greater Wellington Regional Council representative."

    Ali believes in the kaupapa that has brought us together and brings a genuine commitment to collaborative process and learning.

    Ali was born and raised in Te Whanagnui-a-Tara (Wellington) and returned here in her late twenties after spending almost ten years exploring Te Waipounamu (the South Island). Her feeling of connection here is strong, both to the harbour’s edge where she lived as a child and the regenerating bushy hills where she now lives in the city with my partner and young kids.

    Since studying environmental science and environmental management, Ali has been working in GWRC’s Biodiversity department for around seven years. She is continually inspired by the people, ecosystems and landscapes of Te Upoko-o-te-ika-a-Māui, our wonderful region.

    Te Raukura Solomon

  • Previous members

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    We wish to thank Liam Daly, Danielle Shanahan, Paul Ward, Maggie Ford, Barry Wards, Paul Shortis and Quentin Duthie, who have journeyed with us, bringing their knowledge and experiences to Mauri Tūhono ki Te Upoko. We wish them well on their next endeavors.


  • New biodiversity group gathers

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    We are so pleased to finally announce the group that will drive this project forward.

    Members represent a diverse range of skills and experiences, from experts in mātauranga Māori to amazing community initiatives that have made huge strides forwards and those with important local and central government perspectives.

    The role of this group will be to develop a framework for future collaboration on biodiversity in our region. We can make a bigger difference if we work better together.

    Full information on each of the group members will be available very soon.

    See the full press release on this announcement below.


    ‘Ki uta ki tai’ is an expression of the richness found across the Wellington Region from our mountain ranges to the sea.

    Like our region, a passionate and diverse range of experienced practitioners and activists make up a new group with an ambitious goal - to design a Wellington Regional Biodiversity Framework seeking future gains for biodiversity conservation in the region.

    The project is a partnership between Greater Wellington Regional Council, mana whenua partners, Department of Conservation and the wider community.

    The goal of the Collaborative Working Group is to draw together perspectives of a wide range of individuals and groups in the community who are working hard restoring our region’s native species and ecosystems and design a shared way forward that will join up and boost these efforts.

    The group’s members represent the perspectives and values of the sectors and communities they work in and connect to. The Ara Tahi Leadership Forum has appointed an ohu (advisory group) of three members representing western, central and eastern parts of the region to bring a strong Māori approach to underpin the project.

    “It’s incredibly important to us that we gather a wide range of views. Based upon practices informed by nature, Māori have proven ways of working in collaboration that seek to heal and preserve all the domains between Ranginui (sky) and Papatuānuku (earth). As a new group we’re committed to working together in a shared way that is informed by our region’s unique biodiversity approaches, past, present and future. In the end, we are each responsible for the legacy we leave for future generations.” – Sharlene Maoate-Davis, co-chair of the group

    Forest cover across the region has fallen massively, with just 28 per cent remaining since human arrival and only less than three per cent of its wetlands remain. Pest animals and plants continue to undermine the quality of what’s left and many native species struggle to survive. Our coastlines and coastal seas also show the stresses of development and climate change.

    “We’re so glad to be making this announcement. This group coming together is a significant milestone for the project. Now we can start the process of planning how to support and restore our region’s biodiversity, together.” – Dr Paul Blaschke, co-chair of the group

    Other regional councils in New Zealand have had some success in launching similar processes. These also support the national goal of halting the decline of indigenous biodiversity (the diversity of plants, animals, and habitats native to New Zealand).

    A National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity and a New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy are currently being prepared by central government agencies. It is likely that these will place a greater emphasis on regional direction for biodiversity protection.

    The group will be holding its first meeting later in June and the project will be launched publicly in July, coinciding with the rise of Matariki and Māori New Year. The project is expected to take up to two years.

    The group will seek input from the wider community and expertise from all relevant regional sectors. For more information, visit the public page found on the Greater Wellington ‘Have Your Say’ website https://haveyoursay.gw.govt.nz/wrbf.

    Group members

    Sharlene Maoate-Davis
    Co-chair. Māori consultant, facilitator and rongoā practitioner

    Liam Daly
    Science graduate and youth conservationist

    Dr Paul Blaschke
    Co-chair. Environmental consultant and teacher

    Sam Ludden
    Artist

    Sharli-Jo Solomon
    Western ohu representative

    Andy McKay
    Community conservationist

    Jenny Ngarimu
    Central ohu representative

    Paul Ward
    Capital Kiwi founder and community conservationist

    Ra Smith
    Eastern ohu representative

    Zoe Studd
    Marine environmental scientist and educator

    Daniela Biaggio
    Local authority biodiversity leader

    Paul Shortis
    Ornithologist and recreationalist

    Quentin Duthie
    Environmental policy advisor

    Maggie Ford
    Department of Conservation

    Dr Barry Wards
    Experienced conservation leader

    Ali Caddy
    Greater Wellington Regional Council

    Dr Danielle Shanahan
    Urban conservation scientist and manager