He Pou Tokomanawa
By Aneika Young
Kaitiakitanga in Practice Project: Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge
Kia ora rawa atū koutou e te whānau whānui o Ngāti Rārua,
He Pou Tokomanawa is an iwi-led project led by Tiakina te Taiao, which aims to understand the manawhenua iwi kaitiakitanga priorities for Te Tai o Aorere the Tasman Bay. Our research team is made up of Frank Hippolite (project lead), myself (Project lead, iwi researcher), Jenna-Rose Astwood (iwi researcher), Charlotte Sunde (Cawthron social scientist), and Robyn Crisford (GIS analyst). We are guided by our Kaitohutohu or iwi advisory rōpū made up of representatives from all of the iwi entities we are working with.
For the last few months the research team have been conducting wānanga across Te Tau Tau Ihu with whānau from Ngāti Rārua, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tama in Wakapuaka, Manawhenua ki Mohua, Ngāti Koata and our entities Wakatū Incorporation and Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust. We held a wānanga at Te Āwhina Marae with all the whānau of manawhenua ki Motueka. It was a productive and successful wānanga with a good turn out of whānau of all ages.
We broke out into groups and completed a mapping exercise where we would ask them specific questions about issues with respect to the moana, and what kind of obstacles limit their role as kaitiaki. We had some hearty kōrero after the mapping exercise and came away with some valuable perspectives. The most recent wānanga was held at Onetahua Marae with the Manawhenua ki Mohua (MkM) whānau, which was also a valuable experience and important to hear the MkM whānau views. In the next few months we will be looking for whānau who can assist with individual interviews, so feel free to contact me if you have an interest in this type of mahi or know of someone firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call me on 027 457 7844.
The highlight of this mahi for me is having the privilege to listen to the rich histories and pūrakau that have connected our whānau to the moana for many centuries, and the intrinsic relationship we have with Te Tai o Aorere, represented by our values and customary practices of kaitiakitanga. We are a people of the moana, ngā tāngata ō Te Tai o Aorere.
This story is part of the September 2018 Ngāti Rārua Pānui. To review the stories in the September edition click here.