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Mō te Taiao

Nurturing  our mokopuna today to inspire the marine kaitiaki, technicians & scientists of tomorrow.

Who We Are

Who We Are

Te Arawa Ki Tai Charitable Trust is an independent, non-profit making, Maori environmental roopu based in Maketu.


Our purpose is to have Te Arawa Ki Tai Trust recognised as a leading indigenous Polynesian organisation in caring for the land-river-coastal-moana environs.

Founded in 2013 by the original tangata whenua members of the Te Arawa/Maketu Rena Oil clean-up committee and subsequently endorsed by te Pukenga Koeke o Te Arawa, Te Arawa ki Tai Charitable Trust was established to foster Te Arawa connections to the moana. The initiative was inspired by the dedication of volunteers and their commitment to looking after the coast at Maketu at the time of the Rena disaster.

What We Do

We strive to provide opportunities that enable kaitiakitanga, are kaupapa Maori based, and are aimed at strengthening and revitalising our knowledge systems pertaining to the land-river-coastal-moana environs.

Koiora (Biology) Assessment & Monitoring

Koiora assessment and monitoring of Ōngātoro (Maketu estuary) in the leadup and post-completion of the Kaituna Rediversion project.


Aim to pass on, grow and ‘test’ mātauranga [of Ōngātoro and moana] to the next generation. Includes delivery of a Kura ō Maketu Mātauranga Māori programme to tuākana classes.


We are researching and gathering knowledge on changes to the estuary post diversion and supporting Cawthron Institute in developing tools to manage paralytic shellfish poisoning.


Working to reverse the historical damage to Little Waihi estuary and wider catchment through practical measures 

Why We Do It...

  • We want to create a village of knowledge creators and holders, from the pipi pickers to the professors, to strengthen knowledge and capacities for full and effective engagement of our peoples in their kaitiakitanga;

  • To value and articulate indigenous perspectives and contributions in protection of the environment; to affirm experiences and understandings of traditional knowledge and customary use and management of natural resources (cultural and biological diversity), to give back the matauranga taiao legacy to the mokopuna.


We employ kaupapa Maori methods.
We empower kaitiaki.

We embrace our place.

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