Māori environmentalist moves to protect eels at risk from East Coast dry spell
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Māori environmentalist moves to protect eels at risk from East Coast dry spell

February 29, 2020

First off to the East Coast, eels are at risk of dying as hot conditions continue to dry up
rivers in the region and as Irena Smith reports one water and environmental
protector is making it her mission to save the taonga species. Protectors day and night. This is a job for night owls. Yes, we are here every night
to move eels from our wetlands. And then when morning comes, we return and do some more moving. This is what Tina Ngata and her
whanau have been up to this week, catching eels not to eat them, but to save them. On top of everything else you
have the environment under stress, the days are getting warmer, and the rivers and valleys
are drying out. So far this week more than 100 eels
have been caught here and transferred to this river bed
where they are thriving. It’s the hot conditions, drying up our rivers and swamps, that’s what the researchers
are telling us, that we must look after
our waterways, aquifers, etc. It’s hoped others will see it
as an example of caring for the environment. So you don’t get paid for this? No way, nope I don’t get paid
for this work it’s only reward for me is that it is helping
our environment for us and our grandchildren. It won’t stop here as she knows
the impacts of climate change on many coastal towns like hers
will continue. Irena Smith, Te Karere.

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