Urban Ark – Manawa Taiao is a key piece in the native biodiversity jigsaw of Pest Free Auckland 2050.
By enabling and supporting the work of a diverse collection of community conservation groups we see thousands of households, plus schools and businesses working together to create a place where our native species can thrive. A place where native birdsong doesn’t just mean a couple of tūī, where our endemic skinks and geckos are abundant, and native trees grow free of smothering weeds. We want our Urban Ark to be the Manawa Taiao – the heart of the environment.
Urban Ark – Manawa Taiao supports community groups working across 35 square kilometres (3500 ha) of Tāmaki Makaurau’s inner west – from Ponsonby to Pt Chevalier and from Mt Albert to Mt Eden. Around the maunga of Maungawhau and Ōwairaka we work with the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority to care for protect these important taonga. Along the awa, we seek to protect and restore Te Auaunga (Oakley Creek), Waitītiko (Meola Creek), Te Wai a te Ao (Motions Creek) and Opoututeka (Coxs Creek).
With the help of many of the 45,000 households across 35 square kilometres of the region, we are bringing back the native biodiversity that has been largely absent in such an urban environment.
The Urban Ark logo was created by Glenn Jones who was inspired by the native kōtare (kingfishers) he frequently observes around Te Tokaroa / Meola Reef. The paired birds form a heart shape, reflecting our desire to be the Manawa Taiao – the heart of the environment. To Māori, the motionless kōtare is a watchful sentry. It lends its name to the pā platform used to watch out for enemies, just as we watch out for invaders threatening our natural taonga.