Fresh Water protection discussed at Wai Māori Conference

By Te Ao - Māori News

Bringing together knowledge holders like scientist, researchers and guardians of Māori natural resources to find ways to protect Wai Māori [Fresh Waters]. 

Delaraine Armstrong adds “Tai Tokerau has unique impacts due to the size of our coastlines and the interaction of our fresh waters into the sea. We look forward to sharing our stories on the national stage”.

Tohe Ashby, Chair of Ngā Tirairaka o Ngāti Hine was part of bringing the conference to Tai Tokerau. He says “Positioning Wairuatanga and Mātauranga Māori at the forefront of the Conference is a key focus for me and challenging ourselves in advocating for Mātauranga Māori solutions to the climate change crisis we face”.

This is the first time Fresh water has been discussed at the national Te Wai Māori Conference in Northland.  They hope to create a strong position statement on action. 

The event which aims for Māori to challenge decision making means resource management decisions will be shaped.

Rereata Makiha of Te Mahurehure and Ngāti Wahiao says discussing climate change and its impact on fresh water and tāonga species was at the core of discussions today at the Te Wai Māori National conference.    

“To talk about these issues from a Māori perspective. Let’s not be forced to think from a non-Māori view”.  

Following a tono at the National Tuna Conference held in Wanganui in 2017, local haukāinga hapū prepare to support the Te Wai Maori National Conference being held for the first time in Whangārei this year. 

A mauri stone named Te Piripono gifted by Ngā Hapū ō Te Taitokerau that depicts the essences of the conference set the tone to the event. Huhana Lyndon says discussions are about the importance of Matauranga Māori's action against climate change. 

Whanganui leader Turama Hawira attended the conference with Dame Tariana Turia to share and converse with the more than 200 participants who joined forces to look at ways Hapū will benefit from a new National Wai Māori entity.

Hawira says, “We are here as representatives for the people of Te Awa Tipua. We are here to share our views, we believe this is event is of importance to us”.