A new collaboration has launched a biodiversity framework at Te Papa in Wellington this week that seeks to weave Māori perspectives into environmental action.
The independent working group called Mauri Tūhono ki te Upoko o te Ika a Māui [Mauri Tūhono] is co-chaired by Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa environment manager Ra Smith.
The group has mana whenua members and representatives from the Department of Conservation [DOC], Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC], and the wider community.
Its goal is to inspire communities and agencies to answer the karanga [call] from te taiao [the natural world], and Smith said it offers a holistic approach by integrating a “range of perspectives”.
“This is for everyone, everywhere,” Smith said.
“Through people reconnecting with te taiao, we revitalise the mauri [life essence], and together our contributions lead us towards te taiao flourishing,”
Smith said Mauri Tūhono is a regional movement.
“It will guide us in shaping a sustainable future that honours and protects our shared natural heritage,” he said.
“The regional council’s approach to environmental work will increasingly be informed by mātauranga ā-iwi as well as other knowledge systems.”
GWRC councillor Hikitia Ropata said it is important to have a regional commitment to developing the framework, named Kaipuripuri taonga ki te ao whānui.
“This framework is developed with a deep understanding of our region’s unique needs and strengths,” Ropata said.
“Greater Wellington is proud to work with our partners to implement this framework for the benefit of our community and te taiao.”