October 11, 2021

Pou Tātaki Appointed to Lead $300m KMR Programme

A programme of work to restore the health and mauri of Kaipara Moana, the world’s second-largest natural harbour, has a new leader with Justine Daw announced in the role of Pou Tātaki this week.

The Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme (KMR) is an ambitious $300 million, decade-long plan to reverse ongoing environmental degradation by halving sediment loss from land to sea.

Last October, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing between the government, Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council and Kaipara Uri signalled the official launch of the programme. Since then, a Joint Committee made up of council and Uri representatives has led the establishment of significant foundational work to support the successful roll out of the programme over the next 10 years. 

Joint Committee Chair Tame Te Rangi says the Joint Committee and KMR staff are delighted with Justine Daw’s appointment. She will be taking over from Acting Pou Tātaki Alan Wilcox.

She is an experienced executive leader and director who has worked in international relations, commercial consultancy, the environmental sector, and the science and innovation system.  

“Equally, she has a keen interest in local action and nurturing sustainable livelihoods that support people to live well with nature.” 

Currently a board member for Reconnecting Northland and the Deputy Chair for the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF-NZ), Justine Daw has most recently provided strategic leadership to support Jobs for Nature investments in pest control, directions for groundwater research, national priorities for environment and climate science, and identifying new economic opportunities for Northland.  

“KMR brings together all my passions,” says Justine Daw. “The programme’s whole kaupapa is about connecting and supporting communities, environmental restoration and innovative science and research.

“The Kaipara Moana is nationally significant, with over 6,000 square kms of catchment and more than 950kms of coastline at high tide. It is also a globally important ecosystem, as the largest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the largest internationally. 

“The significant work already undertaken by the Joint Committee and the Interim Leadership team has ensured KMR is well positioned for success over the next decade. Much of this establishment work has been behind the scenes, but with a programme of this scale, the planning and preparation is absolutely critical. I look forward to working with an exceptionally talented and passionate team.”   

Having worked for many years overseas and in Wellington, Justine Daw now lives on a sheep and beef farm overlooking the Kaipara Moana, in the centre of the Kaipara District.

“KMR is incredibly unique as a truly collaborative endeavour between Councils, Kaipara Uri, and the Ministry for the Environment. Founded on tikanga Māori, the programme represents an authentic integration of matauranga Māori with science. This exemplary model is attracting international interest, not only for this co-design and co-management approach between Government and Mana Whenua, but also because it is one of the most intensive afforestation efforts globally, with an aim to plant 20 million trees in the Kaipara catchment. KMR will affect positive social, environmental and economic change, not just for the Kaipara but for the whole of New Zealand.”

Following a month-long handover period, Justine Daw will begin full time on 6 December.

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