Te Wānanga Whakamātaki the Māori Biosecurity wānanga

August 12, 2022 10:04 am

“The watchful ones Te Tira Whakamātaki is a Māori environmental not-for-profit – protecting our natural heritage through the use of indigenous solutions”

Recently I attended Te Wānanga Whakamātaki the Māori Biosecurity wānanga.This wānanga was the first held by Te Tira Whakamātaki (TTW) and was hosted in the beautiful city of New Plymouth.

Increasing our knowledge and use of mātauranga Māori as an organisation here at PF2050 Limited is something we value personally and as an organisation. But it was truly clear at this symposium that we weren’t the only ones on this journey. We appreciate that this shared mahi is key to all industries across Aotearoa for the protection of our taonga species and of our people.

Those of us that attended from both private and public sectors across the motu were also fortunate to witness an MOU signed between Te Tira Whakamātaki and Biosecurity New Zealand, acknowledging tikanga, and committing to continue to build relationships and enable better outcomes for Māori and for Māori aspirations needed for looking after Aotearoa. The signing was followed by a very moving Te Atiawa iwi, Ngāti Te Whiti Hapū haka.

From left: Taranaki Mounga Whanau presenting on the kiwi being reintroduced. Nicole Hayward and Aroha Te Pareake Mead catch up after Aroha’s presentation.

Having watched plenty of TTW webinars it was great to hear some of those speakers live, such as Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, Tame Malcolm and Dion Tuuta. Along with other keynote speakers, I really enjoyed Dr Te Ahumaramū Charles Royal kōrero and his perspective of mātauranga Māori from an early age up until now, as well as Aroha Te Pareake Mead’s kōrero from times she remembers of when they would spray airplanes with chemical sprays while still having people seated on the plane.

The stories from the projects were both inspiring and emotional, such as Taranaki Mounga and the kiwi that they have been able to reintroduce. We didn’t see any kiwi on our hikoi on Kaitake the next day, but it was simply beautiful walking through the ngahere. We were able to see some of the tools, they used to assist them in their mahi, which they do in partnership with Taranaki Taku Tūranga – Towards Predator Free Taranaki, which is supported by PF2050 Limited. They find that this leg hold trap or as our kaimahi called it “Lean trap” being part of the “Lean Network”, is their most effective trap for possums.

Nicole spends the day in the field with Korehāhā Whakahau rangatahi.

‘Any big thoughts or feelings that came to the forefront for you from today?’ This was a question asked of me by another attendee. My answer being for Māori participation, we have a long way to go still, and I feel for all the whānau that have been living this wero for generations.

But overall, from all the kōrero we listened to, the message was clear to me: for indigenous practices to be used as useful tools in this shared kaupapa, our Māori people need to be part of the kaupapa, which means protected employment within each part of our system. Mātauranga Māori isn’t something that you can be taught from the outside in, it must come from within.
Mihi | Acknowledgements
Ngā mihi nui ki te iwi o Te Atiawa, Ngāti Te Whiti Hapū. We thank you for being such gracious welcoming hosts, not only at the wānanga that we enjoyed so much but on the Taranaki Mounga fieldtrip as well.
Ngā mihi nui ki Te Tira Whakamātaki, to Mel Mark-Shadbolt and her amazing team we thank you for initiating and facilitating such a significant event.

Tame Malcolm was able to confirm at our fieldtrip on the Mounga that Te Tira Whakamātaki would be holding this event every two years. Can’t wait for the next!

Blog by Nicole Hayward
Banner Image: We were delighted to catch up with some of our projects who attended; Korehāhā Whakahau, Tu Mai Taonga o Aotea and Towards a Predator Free Taranaki.

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