For the past three years, Ngāti Whātua Orakei and Auckland Council have worked together to deliver the Para Kore ki Tamaki waste reduction programme.
Para Kore ki Tamaki works with 25 marae to educate and empower them to be champions and kaitiaki (guardians) of zero waste and waste diversion.
The most successful marae can divert up to 75 per cent of their rubbish and, collectively, 14 of the marae Para Kore works with have diverted over 34 tonnes of rubbish from land fill in just three months.
More than 2000 whanau participate in the programme annually and over 50 Para Kore Zero Waste Events have been run since the programme begun three years ago.
On an environmental journey
Richelle Kahui-McConnell, Para Kore Manager says marae committed to Para Kore are on a journey from darkness and unknowing to the world of light and knowledge.
Furthermore, Richelle says the ripple effect is taking hold, with whanau taking the message of kaitiakitanga from the marae into the home and community.
“Whanau are developing and implementing Para Kore programmes in Kōhanga reo, Kura Kaupapa, churches and community centres. The message is very strong and the commitment to protecting Papatuanuku is a priority for whanau,” she says
Strengthening the partnership
Para Kore and Auckland Council are now strengthening that partnership with another three-year contract, which will see the creation of a number of centres of excellence across Auckland.
Ian Stupple, Auckland Council Waste Solutions Manager, says the success of the relationship between Auckland Council and Ngāti Whātua Orakei is built on mutual respect.
“Auckland Council, which has an ambitious target to be zero waste by 2040, recognises that the best way to work with Maori communities in zero waste initiatives is to empower Maori to deliver key messages that connect whanau with their traditions and respect their customs,” he says.
Watch: Find out more about how Para Kore works to champion zero waste.