The restoration of Lake Waikare is arguably one of the most challenging environmental projects in the Waikato. With help from the Waikato River Authority, and as kaitiaki of the lake north of Huntly, Tawera Nikau has been leading a 7-year long clean-up project to restore the health of the wai that was once both economically and recreationally an integral part of life for his hapū. The project involves the clearing and planting of a 20 hectare area on the southern shores of the lake, including the Matahuru Stream. Tawera tells us about the spiritual significance of Lake Waikare, the scientific research around the planting of manuka, and how partnering with the Authority is helping the Nikau Estate Trust towards their vision of a healthy, flourishing lake for future generations.