Paper No. 152-6
Presentation Time: 2:50 PM
TE PĀTAKA O RĀKAIHAUTŪ / BANKS PENINSULA GEOPARK, NEW ZEALAND: AN INDIGENOUS FOUNDATION IN AN EDUCATIONAL FRAMEWORK
Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula is an eroded volcanic landscape that has complex and varied histories, with respect to its geology, landscape, flora and fauna, Maori and European heritage, and conservation. With these aspects framed in and around the Papatipu Rūnanga (indigenous tribes), we are developing Banks Peninsula into an internationally significant Geopark, celebrating distinct indigenous values, the land itself, and our Banks Peninsula stories. In discussion with Runanga representatives and the wider community, the Geopark is designed to be an engagement and educational platform. Our Geopark kaupapa (model) is one of blended elements founded on the underlying unique geology. The Geopark will weave together knowledge of our geology, flora and fauna, archaeology, oral traditions, mātauranga Maori (indigenous knowledge), heritage, communities, and conservation. The Geopark will encourage people to engage with Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū (Banks Peninsula) through trails, sign boards, open air learning, field trips, research, experiences, and digital interfaces. On the ground the Geopark is comprised of a series of Geopoints (sign posted sites of significance), which are linked together (trail, road, and sea) to form a Geosite. Geosites span varying areas and surrounds, allowing individual voices to tell their unique stories. Our holistic framework highlights the interconnectedness of the landscape with all the other aspects, thereby forming educational resources that will contribute to a sustainable future for the communities of Banks Peninsula; and developing a Geopark on and into that landscape for the benefit of those local communities. The Geopark looks to enable recognition and respect for the landscape and environment, and to achieve conservation through education, not obligation. Our holistic model is not solely focussed on the geological heritage, but looks to showcase how the geology is necessarily intertwined with landscape, flora and fauna, Maori and European heritage, and conservation, and through the telling of stories, highlight these significances and relationships and, in so doing, promote public interest in the geosciences.