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Movements To Promote Taitamariki As Kaitiaki In Aotearoa – Scoop.co.nz

Community groups and environmental organisations are
guiding and equipping rangatahi to be protectors of the
environment, with an intention to blend mātauranga Māori
and Western science.

Recent findings of a study, led
by Dr Tara McAllister, of centre of research excellence Te
Pūnaha Matatini, revealed Māori and Pacific scientists are
under-represented in New Zealand science.

Foundation
North, the community trust for Auckland and Northland, and
its Gulf Innovation Fund Together (G.I.F.T) programme are
drawing attention to the projects they support that are
actively promoting taitamariki in their role of kaitiaki
into new pathways.

“We’re excited by the movement
across our rohe from community groups, hapu and iwi, and
environmental organisations to weave mātauranga Māori and
western science together,” said Foundation North CEO Peter
Tynan. “With a strategic focus on whakahou taiao
/regenerative environment, the Foundation supports holistic
approaches that conserve, preserve and restore the natural
environment in our region. Initiatives proposed by tangata
whenua that connect social and environmental practices are a
priority.”

Te Toki Voyaging Trust’s Rangatahi
Kaitiaki project was funded by the Foundation’s G.I.F.T
initiative, set up in 2016 to support innovation to restore
the mauri / life essence of Tīkapa Moana Te Moananui-ā-Toi
/the Hauraki Gulf. The project utilised Ngāi Tai iwi
leaders, Te Toki Voyaging Trust waka hourua facilitators and
an all-Māori team of scientists to work alongside Ngāi Tai
rangatahi to support them to be kaitiaki of the environment
around Umupuia Marae. Participants walked the land, followed
waterways, examined threatened cockle beds and sedimentation
in the bay.

Another example of kaitiakitanga and
enabling rangatahi was evident during a recent Ngāti Pāoa
wānanga at Ruapotaka marae.

Another G.I.F.T funded
project, The Waiheke Marine Project is a mana whenua and
community-led initiative to protect and regenerate the
Waiheke Island marine environment. Around 35 Ngāti Pāoa
descendants spoke about issues linked with the health of
their whānau, hapū and iwi including ways to enable a
pathway for rangatahi that is rich with Ngāti Pāoa
kōrero.

Foundation North also funded Ngā Tangata o
Te Hopua Wai, a 2ha piece of land divided into a school
garden, a large scale market garden and whanau and
individual plots. The intention of the Ngāti Kuri Trust
Board is to build a sense of community and belonging and
enable rangatahi to learn and share knowledge about
gardening, nature and cooking.

“We are proud to
support these projects which see mātauranga Māori woven
with Western science. It’s crucial that we enable and help
connect young people with this knowledge, and increase the
number of Māori and Pacific scientists. There is hope of
change ahead,” said Mr
Tynan.

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