A third of the world’s seabirds call New Zealand home, but their nesting habitats are under threat from introduced predators, overfishing and climate change.
The Karioi Project is dedicated to reducing these threats in their area. The Raglan-based community group recently collaborated on the short film ‘Karioi’, presented by Patagonia as part of their 1% For The Planet environmental grants programme.
Narrated by surfer and Patagonia Global Sports Actvist Dave Rastovich, the film tells the story of the The Karioi Project as they work to save the oi, restore the maunga, and in the process create a strong, vibrant community group connected to the land and sea around them.
“As a surfer who has been lucky enough to have surfed around the world and seen the great work coastal communities are carrying out to look after their shared ecologies I would have to say that Raglan’s effort to care for the country, and especially the migrating seabirds that call that rugged coast home, offers one of the most inspiring stories of working together for the benefit of all local creatures. I often speak of the Karioi project when hoping to inspire communities to work together and protect their home land and seas.”– Dave Rastovich
“We’re excited to be sharing our story with the rest of the world, as a way to highlight the urgent need for local community action to protect biodiversity to maintain the world’s ecological processes,” adds Karioi Project manager Kristel van Houte. “We hope our short film will encourage and inspire more people to do the same.”
The Karioi Project has contributed over 40,000 volunteer hours in the last 10 years, restoring and carrying out pest control in 2,500 hectares of native coastal forest. This work has resulted in the return of breeding ōi, (grey faced Petrel), a locally threatened taonga species to the maunga.
At the same time the group has delivered environmental education to hundreds of local kids. Providing much needed employment in conservation and ecological restoration to young adults and school leavers has been another major driver. The Karioi Project initiative has so far employed 17 people, including several graduates from the Manaaki Ao education programme run in partnership with Raglan Area school. Student-led with an inquiry-learning and community-based philosophy, the initiative supports students’ learning and helps develop concepts and skills focused on environmental sustainability, ecology and innovation.
Patagonia is guided by its mission statement: ”We’re in business to save our home planet”. Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, the outdoor apparel company began in Ventura, California and today works globally, including in New Zealand. A certified B Corporation and founding member of 1% For The Planet, Patagonia is recognised internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism – and its contributions of more than US$145 million in grants and in-kind donations to date.
‘Karioi’ will be released to watch online on Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Karioi Project Facebook Page.