Language: English | Māori

Support for local conservation

Tasman Environmental Trust (TET) has been on a mission as they ramp up their conservation efforts in Te Tau Ihu. They have helped plant 632,116 native plants, set 2922 pest traps, and fostered 34,996 volunteer hours since 2000.

TET, based in the Nelson-Tasman region, provides expertise in protecting, maintaining, and restoring land, freshwater, and estuarine natural environments. They aim to create and sustain healthy, diverse ecosystems across the Te Tau Ihu landscape.

Collaboration and encouragement are at the core of TET's efforts to help conserve the precious natural environment in the Tasman and Nelson districts.

As a strategic project under South Island funder Rātā Foundation's Northern Region Environment initiative, TET has taken on considerable conservation mahi to position itself as a successful environmental organisation and an influential community hub.

Sky says they can make a real difference by providing a support platform for community groups to get their projects running effectively.

"Existing community projects will sometimes come along and ask us for support," says Sky. "They might need to ensure a backup for continuity and the long-term sustainability of a project – whether with ongoing volunteers, funding, or financial support to make the project work.

"We take care of the back-office support, like project planning, fundraising, fund management, and health and safety. All of the essentials necessary to ensure a project will fly.

"We also hold workshops and networking events that help to upskill people and build a more knitted community around this work."

This practical assistance helps make crucial conservation projects a reality, along with TET's strategic collaboration with Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance – which brings together iwi, local councils, and the Department of Conservation to set environmental goals and strategy for Te Tau Ihu.

As a highly experienced delivery partner, TET consistently builds sustainable partnerships.

"We understand what priorities there are for our region and develop programmes of work or projects to achieve that," says Sky.

Support from Rātā Foundation assists current community conservation projects. It helps TET create new landscape-scale projects using their knowledge and experience, building additional capability in regional communities.

"Tasman Environmental Trust not only raises awareness about the essential need for nature conservation, but they've connected many grassroots community groups through the region into communities of action, "says Rātā Foundation Chief Executive Leighton Evans.

"Sustainability efforts are only successful if there is a true collaboration, and what is impressive about TET is their willingness to support and share knowledge with other community groups, working together toward a healthy, thriving natural environment."