Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust is a registered charity responsible for the rehablitation and management of Tūhaitara Coastal Park.
The Trust is run by six trustees, three appointed by Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu and three by Waimakariri District Council. The Trust employs a fulltime General Manager and a part time Secretary
The Park was established as an outcome of the settlement between Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Crown with the lands being gifted to the people of New Zealand.
Tūhaitara Coastal Park covers approximately 800ha of land along the coastline from the Waimakariri River mouth to the settlement of Waikuku Beach. Stretching along the coast for 10.5 kilometres, it comprises many natural features of local, regional and national importance.
The area is predominantly protection and plantation pine forest and sand dunes. However, the park includes areas of national and regional significance including the Tūtaepatu Lagoon, Taranaki Stream and Saltwater Creek freshwater coastal system, and The Pines Wetland.
The Tūhaitara Coastal Park provides a range of opportunities to preserve Ngāi Tahu values, retain and enhance rare indigenous biodiversity and provide recreational and educational opportunities for all people.
Cr Al Blackie
The residents of Kaiapoi Pā and in more recent years, members of Ngāi Tūahuriri Runanga, have had a close relationship with the lands. Tūtaepatu Lagoon was a rich and important source of mahinga kai, particularly tuna (eel).
In addition, the area surrounding Tūtaepatu Lagoon contains the urupa for Tu Rakautahi, who was the founder of the Kaiapoi Pā. It is part of the area known as the greatest pounamu trading centre in the South Island.
The name Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara acknowledges whakapapa and tikanga. Tūhaitara was an ancestress of Ngāi Tūahuriri. The occupiers of the Kaiapoi Pā and North Canterbury were known as te hapu o Tūhaitara / the family of Tūhaitara. Kōhaka refers to a nest, to the season of spring, indicating a time to apply vision, new concepts, the sowing of thoughts or seeds.
Tēnei mātou ngā tangata o te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara
This is us the people of the nest of Tūhaitara
E mihi nui te aroha ki a kotou katoa
Greetings/acknowledgement of great love to you all
Mauri ora, mauri tū
Living essence, standing essence
Wai ora me te wairua tapu
Living water and the holy spirit