KMR Pou Tātaki Justine Daw says her team is proud to be sponsoring the 2024 Tinopai Fishing Competition this Saturday, January 13 – a fundraiser for Tinopai School.
The Tinopai Fishing Contest is one of the Kaipara’s most spectacular fish and fundraising events and a bumper crowd is expected at the 22nd edition of the competition this weekend as the school aims to raise more than $25,000 – and ideally better the 2020 figure of over $30k when 350 people entered the competition and 103 tamariki entered the sprat fishing contest.
“KMR has been working alongside Tinopai School since last year when we did a community planting day at Paparoa and through our Whenua Whānui fund the wider Tinopai community has been extremely proactive planting natives around the Tinopai Peninsula,” says Justine.
“We are really looking forward to being out there with the community on Saturday and raising funds for a great cause and an amazing school!
“All waterways have value, but the Kaipara Moana is really special – not only is it environmentally and culturally important, it also has unique national importance as the ‘nursery’ for most of New Zealand’s snapper fishery.”
Snapper is New Zealand’s top commercial inshore fisheries catch, creating high-value export revenues and contributing close to $70m to the economy and over 550 jobs each and every year.
“But silts and sediments from the land have put the harbour and the snapper fishery at risk, and so KMR is working hard to work with landowners and groups to protect and restore the harbour.”
Tinopai School Board Chair Erana Fenton is stoked to have the backing of KMR, citing the importance of getting tamariki outdoors and experiencing the environment first hand.
“Education outside the classroom is one of our main priorities because while you can learn things from books, unless you are seeing things first hand you don’t get the full learning,” says Erana.
“So, the fishing competition is a great opportunity to raise money to help our students get outdoors. It is also important for us to engage with our very supportive community and bring friends and whānau together to celebrate the Kaipara Moana.
“After all, water is our main life source. Without it we would not exist, so it is important to raise awareness of the need to care for the environment, our kai, the Kaipara Moana and recognise the work of the KMR team. It is critically important to be aware of these things.”
KMR’s Whenua Whānui Fund is aimed at supporting schools, iwi, marae and community groups to participate in restoration efforts for Kaipara Moana and Justine says the Tinopai community has been very proactive in partnering with KMR.
In July 2023, Tinopai School’s 16 students – alongside parents and teachers – teamed up with Paparoa and Maungatūroto primary schools, the KMR team, Te Uri o Hau, landowner Tim Wearmouth, Enviroschools, Whitebait Connection and local volunteers over two days to plant hundreds of trees and grasses on the banks of Paparoa Stream.
The initiative was part of the KMR’s programme to reduce sediment flows into the Kaipara Moana by supporting farmers and groups to fence off and plant waterways and eroding hillsides.
KMR Community and Hapū Engagement Advisor Griffin Hope said at the time the efforts of the students were impressive.
“This kind of mahi is really important to do as a community as it teaches our children the importance of caring for the environment,” he said.
“The kids put in a huge effort with their enthusiasm and did a beautiful job of putting 550 plants in the ground. The area looks amazing. It will be something they can see flourish over the years and take pride in their efforts as the natives become established in that area.”
The Tinopai Fishing Competition runs from 7am to 4pm when all fish must be weighed in. Weigh in for the Kid’s Sprat Fishing Competition is at 2pm.
There will be hangi for sale, live entertainment, carnival rides, spot prizes, fish auctions, quick fire raffles, spot prizes and two cash prizes of $1000 and $500.