Te Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust – Conservation Park Announcement!


– Richard Suggate, Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust Co-Chair

The Te Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust is thrilled to announce that it is now the official kaitiaki of Te Ahu Pātiki – the Maunga. The final piece of the handover puzzle slotted into place on Monday, September 5th, 2022, when the Title Deed to the 500-hectare block that is now the Te Ahu Pātiki Conservation Park transferred from the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust to the newly established Te Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust.

Our Journey After five years of general discussions, the project itself took flight in 2019 and was completed due to the support and perseverance of many people working together towards a common goal. The Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust took the bold step of signing an unconditional agreement to purchase the property in 2020, with a long settlement period allowing time for fundraising. The advice of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke was sought, who then asked to be a partner in the project.Orton Bradley Park supported the project from the outset, backing the vision to see the mountain on their doorstep protected and become available for all to enjoy. A huge fundraising campaign was then launched that raised over $950,000 in donations, with the assistance of Stuff (The Press) and thousands of public contributions. ‘It takes many hands to hold up Te Ahu Pātiki, so there are many ways for people to contribute their expertise, skills, and passion,’ has been an oft stated sentiment applied to this project by Yvette Couch-Lewis, Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, who has supported this project from its inception.

Te Ahu Pātiki – as viewed from Rāpaki. Photo credit: Sam Barrow

Our Vision The Trust is looking forward to engaging with Hapū, Iwi and the general public as we work together on this journey. The ultimate goal is the full restoration of the park’s indigenous flora and fauna; and the Maunga restored to its natural beauty as the effects of removing grazing animals and careful pest management bear results. Improvements have already been made to most of the park’s fencing and recent upgrades to the track network will enhance the experience for both walkers and mountain bikers.  Te Ahu Pātiki includes 8 tracks totalling some 13.3km, part of the Te Ara Pātaka Track Network. A Walking Access easement has been gazetted over these tracks by Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa Outdoor Access Commission (formerly New Zealand Walking Access Commission Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa) thus guaranteeing public access in perpetuity on the Maunga.

Rod Donald Trust Co Chairs Jenn Chowaniec and Richard Suggate signing the agreements ensuring the legal protection of the land – with Alice Shanks from the QEII National Trust and Geoff Holgate from the Walking Access Commission. Photo credit: Suky Thompson

Te Wharau Catchment Restoration Founding partners Orton Bradley Park’s successful application to the Jobs for Nature/Mahi mō te Taiao fund has enabled a significant restoration project of the Te Wharau stream catchment ( an area of approx. 1500ha) of which Te Ahu Pātiki forms the headwaters. This three year project will see weed and pest control undertaken throughout the catchment to help restore native biodiversity.  In excess of 400 possums have already been caught and the future is looking bright. In the lower catchment work on the replanting of 30,000 native trees, mainly in riparian areas, is underway. This will further enhance protection and freshwater quality in the catchment.

Macpac Fund for GoodTe Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust is delighted to announce our partnership with Macpac. The Macpac Fund for Good was established to support projects that create long term positive impact, whether through conservation and regeneration, or by fostering a love for the outdoors. Those goals align perfectly with those of Te Ahu Pātiki, and we look forward to developing our partnership with them. Macpac has been based in Ōtautahi Christchurch since its foundation in 1973, and the team share our excitement as we watch the land return to native forest over the coming decades, in the knowledge that access for recreational use will be guaranteed for future generations.

Conservation Protection Te Ahu Pātiki is home to the source of the largest freshwater stream in Whakaraupō (Lyttelton Harbour) catchment, Te Wharau. Conservation protection now extends from the maunga to the moana. A QEII National Trust Covenant protecting biodiversity on Te Ahu Pātiki combined with covenants on Orton Bradley Park protect the stream from grazing for its entire journey to the sea. To further support the project, Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) has committed to contributing towards ongoing maintenance and development costs over the first 10 years of the project. LPC is keen to invest in projects that assist in creating a healthy harbour. Help has been received from many sources and the Trust would like to acknowledge the significant and ongoing contributions made by ECAN and the Christchurch City Council.

Unique IdentityWe are delighted to have worked closely with emerging designer Hēmi Korako (Waitaha, Kati Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu) to design a logo for Te Ahu Pātiki that encapsulates the story of the mountain and connection to its past, present and future. The design is inspired by the traditional Pātiki weaving pattern seen on tukutuku panels and the overall shape resembles a pātiki (flounder fish). Within this structure Hēmi tells the story of the Maunga, referencing its volcanic beginnings, its presence on Whakaraupō (Lyttelton Harbour) and its future aspirations as we all work together to restore the natural mauri of the Maunga.

Hēmi Korako’s logo design for Te Ahu Pātiki that encapsulates the story of the mountain and connection to its past, present and future.

Protecting the Maunga The guardianship of the mountain as a protected public park is now in place. Maureen McCloy speaks for the entire Te Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust Board when she states how delighted she is to have played a part in protecting Te Ahu Pātiki for future generations – ‘as a Co-Chair of the Trust Board I look forward to working with the Board and its partners as we restore the Maunga’s rightful presence for local hapū and all those who supported its purchase.’

Te Ahu Pātiki – on the Maunga. Photo credit: Graham McMillan

GratitudeBoth Trusts remain in awe of the generosity of so many. Over 3,000 people have donated both large and small amounts to support the project. The Maunga is an iconic turangawaewae for Cantabrians with the area visible from across Waitaha (the Canterbury Plains). It is the highest point on Te Pataka o Rakaihautū (Banks Peninsula). A unique, wild and beautiful place. The Te Ahu Pātiki Trust has been established to uphold as its core kaupapa the maintaining of mana whenua values and the protection of the Maunga.

Te Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust Trustees nominated by Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, Te Rūnanga o Koukourarata, the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and Orton Bradley Park form the foundation of the Te Ahu Pātiki Trust’s board. Te Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust has been enabled as a result of the combined efforts of these founding partners and is looking forward to guiding the Park on its journey to full restoration.

Founding Trustees Mananui Ramsden, Scott Winter, Chris Glasson, Roy Tikao, Maureen McCloy and Bob Frame at the signing of the Trust Deed, March 2022. Photo credit: Founding partner representative Yvette Couch-Lewis

Once again, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this outcome; the park would not exist without this collective effort and vision. 

Te Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust and Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust

Click HERE to read the Press article announcing the Parks transfer to the new Trust.

You can keep up to date with news from the Te Ahu Pātiki Charitable Trust via their various platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.