Ngāti Kurī addresses threats to marine environment

By Jessica Tyson

Northland iwi Ngāti Kurī are stepping forward in a bid to protect and nurture the mauri of the Pacific Ocean.

Over the next week, the iwi is set to host a number of workshops, hui and field trips within the rohe to address threats made to the marine environment and celebrate current work being done to protect it.

The week will end with LATE: Taiātea, a panel discussion on Monday March 11 at the Auckland Museum to discuss whether a shift to indigenous governance of biodiversity would create a more sustainable future for the environment.

The panel, including Ngāti Kurī descendant Sheridan Waitai and moderator Mihingarangi Forbes, will delve into how human activity affects the environment.

Sheridan Waitai is the lead for Ngāti Kurī for the WAI262 Fauna and Flora Claim. Source: Taiātea

Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum, Tom Trnski says that over the last 30 years he’s observed a changing coastal environment that is under pressure from a range of human impacts.

“Urgent action and new approaches are required to slow the downward trajectory of ocean health,” he says.

Taiātea will bring together kaitiaki of culture and marine science from across the Pacific to share knowledge and deepen connections amongst advocates of the region.

Participants in the forum will represent indigenous voices, community leaders, education specialists, students, and conservation partners from across the Pacific islands, including Hawaii, the Mariana Islands, Palau, New Caledonia, Aotearoa, Pitcairn, French Polynesia, Chile, Niue, the Cook Islands and Tokelau.

“Taiātea presents an opportunity for scientists and indigenous ocean leaders to work together to help support the protection of the marine oceans cape across the Pacific," says Trinski.

More to come.