Mahi Aroha 2020 – Giving Nature a Loving Hand

Whanau oriented events are the focus of this year’s Central Plateau summer nature programme Mahi Aroha, a community collaboration programme aimed at Giving Nature a Loving Hand by getting people involved in conservation.

Mahi Aroha, or the Summer Nature Programme as it was previously known, once again it kicks off with a New Year’s Day family kite flying event at the Chateau Tongariro golf course in Whakapapa Village.

Project Tongariro, with the Department of Conservation and other partners, is working to offer family fun events across January in Ohakune, Owhango, Whakapapa, Turangi and Taupo.

New to the Mahi Aroha programme this year is a litter pick up and free gondola ride at Whakapapa Ski Area, trap building at Motutere Top 10 Holiday Park and a cultural history showcase at Ngā Roto-o-Rangataua Scenic Reserve, Ohakune.

Senior Community Ranger Nina Manning says Central Plateau community groups and iwi partners have made it easier than ever to take part with more event-based activities and only a few trips needing bookings.

“It’s a true collaboration with different events being led by community conservation organisations. It’s about working together to encourage families to give nature a loving hand,” Nina says.

Old favorites like the Kids Fish Out Days at the Tongariro National Trout Centre, the family Tauranga Taupo Waterfall tramp and the Tussock Traverse are back, along with family activity days at the trout center.

Greening Taupō Coordinator Robyn Ellis says this year’s activities and events have something for everyone from the toddlers to the grandparents.

“And all we ask for is a donation which will go to the community groups involved in each activity or event. So, all the money goes back to conservation of our special places on show.”

Mahi Aroha offers special opportunities to locals and holiday makers to learn about local plants and animals, cultural and historical sites, and the landscapes of the Central Plateau.

“It gets people out into nature to experience and learn about the Tongariro and Taupō areas in ways they never have before. Once again, there is an amazing range of opportunities for the extended family,” Robyn says.

The summer programme has been running for over 50 years and aims to highlight the importance of protecting the natural environment through participation, and inspiring children and adults to get involved with conservation.

Events run from 1–30 January 2020.

For the programme of events and bookings visit the Project Tongariro website.

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