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About Us

Titiro kau ana ko ngā pari pōhatu

A whakaatu atu nei i ngā tīpuna

I look to the rock cliffs and see the faces of my ancestors

People belong to the land ane care for it from generation to generation.


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 Trust (the 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.

Present trustees are a committed group of whanau members, professionals, and kaumatua who have a passion to see our tamariki and mokopuna immersed in the legacies of our tipuna in relation to the Moana/Taiao in order to regain their former leading positions as knowledge holders mo te Moana o Te Arawa.

Our philosophy is simple: ‘provide our tamariki and rangatahi with knowledge and tools and they will look after the environment for us’.

As a consequence of this foundational approach we envisage our mokopuna’s thirst for knowledge will encourage future marine kaitiaki, technicians and scientists.

Our favourite saying: “From the pipi pickers to the professors”



Te Arawa Ki Tai Trust recognised as a leading Indigenous/Maori organisation in caring for the takutai taiao.


To provide kaupapa Maori opportunities which enable kaitiakitanga, enabling of kaitiakitanga, which strengthen and revitalise our knowledge systems, relationshops and responsibilities pertaining to the land-river-coastal-moana environs.

Tikanga / Values

  • Mana tangata: we respect the mana, sacredness & whakapapa of people

  • Integrity and Ethics: do the right thing

  • Respect: earn it, demonstrate it

  • Pukumahi: work hard for the kaupapa

  • Creativity: decolonized in our thinking, always seeking to empower our people

  • Accountable: upfront, honest, respectful, transparent

  • Manaaki: we show loyalty to the Trust’s mission, other Trustees and our volunteers.

  • Bold and strategic: we make and own the hard decisions

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