Ngai Tamarawaho Hapu & Geoff Canham

Thrive Spaces and Places

Geoff is the Convenor for the Parks Leaders Forum and is a Principal Parks and Recreation Specialist and Accredited Parks and Recreation Professional (ARPro) and Certified Parks Professional international (CPPI). Geoff runs GCC, a specialist parks and recreation consultancy. Geoff has 37 years’ experience in parks agency/ local government parks and recreation with New Zealand and international experience in parks and recreation leadership, planning and project management as a specialist consultant since 2006. Previous to this, Geoff worked for five local authorities in the parks/ environment field, four of which being in New Zealand, including eight years with Tauranga City Council as Parks and Leisure infrastructure Manager. Geoff has assisted DOC on strategic projects for Heritage and Visitor Management since 2018 and undertakes Recreation Assessment evidence work at an Environment Court and Judicial Review Level. Geoff sits on a Ministerial Review Panel for the Minister of Conservation to assist with the consideration of classifications on DOC land.
Geoff was an official guest of the U.S Department of Agriculture for presentations in Washington DC, and latterly in Canberra as an official guest of the Australian Federal Government, both on ‘co-design with indigenous peoples’ on subject matter to effect joint environmental outcomes. Geoff has also participated in review processes for whole of landscape scale projects for Californian National Parks Agencies. Geoff has given over 15 Conference presentations in New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S, has had over 10 articles published and is the recipient of two NZRA industry awards.
Geoff currently volunteers for the Waiariki Park Region initiative and serves on the Maungatautiri Reserve Committee (Predator free Sanctuary Mountain), the BOP Envirohub Board and convenes the New Zealand Parks Leaders Forum. Geoff has performed the role of industry mentor for the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) and an international Peer Reviewer for Parks Agencies and a peer reviewer for Sport New Zealand. Geoff has held two Chair roles for strategic and regional roles for NZRA (formerly the chair for the NZRA National Peer Review Panel and formerly the chair for the Regional Advisory Group (to advise the NZRA Board)) and is the current Chair of the Industry Accreditation Board for the NZRA. Geoff was also the NZRA Central Region chairman for 17 years. In 2013 Geoff was awarded the Ian Galloway Memorial Cup for Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to the Wider Parks Industry.

Kopurererua River-not just an inner city river realignment

Thurs 11:40 am

The hapū of Ngai Tamarawaho was a driving force behind a 2001 vision to
reestablish their relationship with Tauranga’s Kopurererua Valley. Their vision
set the framework for the design and development of a business-partnered
project. The hapū vision for what became the ‘Kopurererua Valley Project’
included the revival of Ngai Tamarawaho’s connection with the Valley,
changing it from a so-called wasteland marked by failed attempts at European
cultivation and drainage subsidies, to a thriving 364 Ha waterway park, honouring
Ngai Tamarawaho’s ancestors and providing contemporary spaces for people
to reconnect.

In essence, the twenty-year project culminated in the
reintegration of hapū vision into the Kopurererua Valley, offering a model for
other regions, city councils, and hapū. Significant achievements range from
physical changes to the Valley to relationship strengthening. These include
community relationship building and strengthening of the hapū’s relationship
with their whenua, their local authority Tauranga City Council, infrastructural
agencies, utility companies, and the community.