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Māori values and uses of water

Māori values and uses of water

Updated 5 July 2018 1:41pm

Water has a number of key roles in Māori culture.

  • Cultivation – mahinga kai
  • Blessing
  • Drinking
  • Swimming
  • Well being 

Mana whenua partners have identified the following values for their individual and collective sites of significance. These values influence how waterways are seen, treated and restored:

Te Hā o te Ora The breath of life exists within all of our water ways and some special water ways have an essence within them that gives wairua (spirit) and mauri (life force).
Ngā Mahi a ngā Tūpuna Mana whenua using fresh and coastal waters for their own purposes such as cultural or spiritual practices, recreation and harvest.
Te Mahi Kai Places where mana whenua manage and collect food and other resources and uphold tikanga Māori.
Wāhi Whakarite Places where particular practices and activities take place. These are often practices that have been used for centuries that require a specific environment.
Te Mana o te Tangata Many water bodies are recognised as being of valuable to not only those that hold rangatiratanga of the water body but also to those around that area who interact and rely on it. 
Te Manawaroa o te Wai Some waterways have been badly polluted over a long period of time. Often, these water bodies are seen as being resilient in a way that other waterways aren’t.
Te Mana o te Wai Some water bodies are inherently connected to our identity and the mana of the area.
Wāhi Mahara Places of learning, where local knowledge and histories are etched in the landscape. 

For more information on our mana whenua sites of significance and the values attached to those sites, see Schedule C3 of the proposed Natural Resources Plan.