As part of a research project for her Master of Indigenous Studies at Te Herenga Waka (Victoria University Wellington), Alyssa utilised her funding to facilitate a rangatahi wānanga titled ‘Rangatahi Voices for Pukekauri Dam: Listening to Our Future Generation of Takahiwai’.
Pukekauri Dam was confiscated in the 1960s under the Public Works Act. It was later deemed as surplus to requirements but was never returned to whānau and is currently owned and operated by Whangārei District Council. The dam holds historical significance and value to tangata whenua; however, due to restricted access, the hapū connection to this space has since been severed.
Supported by Patuharakeke Trust, Alyssa engaged with local youth about their visions and values of Pukekauri Dam. The wānanga included a site visit, tree planting, swimming, and interactive activities to better understand how they would like the area to be restored, protected and sustained for the future.