European settlement of the Murihiku plains began in the mid 1850s. The first flock of sheep arrived in 1853, and in subsequent years large areas of land were cleared for pasture. Since these early days, the Murihiku landscape and its waters have changed signficiantly. Land has been cleared, vast wetlands drained, rivers straightened, a large part of the New River Estuary reclaimed, and major industry developed. This has resulted in economic prosperity for Murihiku, however the cumulative effects of these changes are now manifesting as large-scale environmental degradation and ecosystems under stress.
The Te Ao Tūroa - Environment portfolio is about developing a programme of work to address environmental degradation and to bring mana back to our whenua and wai.
Currently the two main project areas in this portfolio are:
Find out about Climate Change and what Ngāi Tahu is doing to address this global issue.
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