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Ka whaimata te tapuae o Tangaroa.
Ka haruru.

He strides to and fro, Tangaroa.

Hear him roar.

Tangaroa is the god of the sea. Unwelcome events create a strong reaction



The disastrous grounding of the RENA on Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef) in 2011 necessitated a rapid response by the Government, its Crown agencies and local authorities. The value of whanau, hapu and iwi connections to their moana, was realised as communities mobilised in the clean-up of the foreshore from the Tauranga coastline right up to the East Cape.

The commissioned reports on how to remove cargo, mitigate leaching from the hull, ensuing debates around 'to remove or not remove' the RENA off Otaiti caused hostility between neighbouring Iwi and hapu with whanau questioning whanau about their respective positions. This scenario continued to the Environment Court.

The Te Arawa research reports revealed via wananga and subsequent analysis, that the impacts of the 1958 Kaituna diversion had long-term negative consequences on Te Arawa tangata far greater than the Rena impacts. Subsequent reports confirmed the ongoing pain of the ahi kaa arising from their disconnection to their estuary and moana as a result of the diversion.

Maketu ahi kaa
In 1843, Shortland described Maketu people as "better fed and clothed than their neighbours because of their coastal location"2. In 2006, the Ministry of Health index of deprivation ordinal scale assessed Maketu at a decile '10' health status, '10' representing the highest deprivation score on a scale of 1--10.*

Prior to the "diversion", Maketu had been a healthy, wealthy community. The ahi kaa had assumed the responsibility for looking after the kai moana on behalf of all Te Arawa. As a result, the ahi kaa held unique matauranga around the coastal marine environment derived from their kaitiakitanga and their reliance on the kaimoana and kaiawa as part of their subsistence economy. This relationship translated into the pursuit of marine related career paths. The Kaituna river diversion saw this relationship disappear and concurrently the community's social, including educational, cultural and economic well-being diminished dramatically. With the rediversion of the Kaituna river, we Trustees aspire to re-invigorate kaitiakitanga as a pathway to restoring all those well-beings: restoring the taiao and the people.

*Hinemoana Associates and Mauri Tau Solutions (2014) AN ASSESSMENT OF CULTURAL IMPACTS IN RELATION TO THE KAITUNA RE--DIVERSION & WETLAND CREATION PROJECT Prepared on behalf of Waitaha, Ngati Makino, Ngati Pikiao & Ngati Tunohopu for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. P1

Ngatoroirangi was a tohunga for many environmental domains. His legacy is waiting to be fully embraced.

Biodiversity loss and climate change are pressing environmental challenges that nations face collectively. While there have been global gains in the recognition of traditional knowledge, more investment is needed in enabling its effective contributions to sustainable development policy and science, including the effective participation of traditional knowledge holders indigenous peoples and local communities.*

*Thematic Paper on the Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and Policies for Sustainable Development: updates and trends in the Second Decade of the World's Indigenous People 2014 The United Nations Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples' Issues


Ko te pae tawhiti whaia, kia tata, ko te pae te ata whakamua kia tina.

Seek out distant horizons, and cherish those you attain.

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