Te reo o te repo: The voice of the wetland
Te Reo o Te Repo – the Voice of the Wetland is an online wetland handbook created collaboratively between the Waikato Raupatu River Trust and Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, and funded mainly by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Wetland Restoration Programme.
The handbook highlights a range of mahi (work) undertaken by iwi (tribes) and hapū (sub-tribes) to increase the health and wellbeing of their repo (wetlands). Information shared includes processes for facilitating renewed and vibrant connections between whānau (families) and their resources, understanding our cultural resources, and learning from case studies on wetland restoration, cultural indicators, and monitoring, all led by or in collaboration with tangata whenua (indigenous people).
Cultural wetland values
The articles are written by Māori researchers as well as scientists who work with iwi and hapū partners. The handbook aims to provide best practice techniques for the enhancement and protection of cultural wetland values to share with tangata whenua throughout the motu (country). It will also assist local authorities, research providers, and community groups in their understanding of cultural priorities for wetland restoration.
Te Reo o Te Repo - the Voice of the Wetland. Complete book.
(PDF File, 10.3 MB)
Yvonne Taura, Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman, Beverley Clarkson (Eds.)
Te Reo o Te Repo: The Voice of the Wetland, is the first handbook to focus on the importance of wetland values in Aotearoa New Zealand from a cultural perspective.
Front cover, acknowledgements, foreword, and contents page
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Introduction to Te Reo o Te Repo - the Voice of the Wetland
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Yvonne Taura, Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman, Beverley Clarkson, and Haimona Waititi
How to navigate and use Te Reo o Te Repo.
Māori values and wetland enhancement
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Wetlands are regarded by Māori as taonga. They have historical, cultural, economic, and spiritual significance. Wetlands can be reservoirs for knowledge, wellbeing, and utilisation.
Māori environmental reporting: processes and indicators
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Māori wetland indicators can be organised into three main categories: what's causing the problems, issues; taonga and mauri, what is present; trends, getting better or worse (from a cultural perspective).
Taonga classifications and species
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Assessing whether culturally significant taonga species are present or absent.
1. Kapu tī 101 – cuppa teas and cross-cultural conversations
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Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman
Discusses what it means to have a satisfying kapu tī/cuppa tea, and take the time to build strong and lasting relationships with Māori research partners.
2. The Ake Ake Model – forever and ever
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Yvonne Taura, Lorraine Dixon, and Miriama Turner
Outlines a cultural mapping exercise using pictures and imagery to help whānau (families), hapū (subtribe), and iwi (tribes) draw out and identify cultural indicators and whānau aspirations.
3. Toreparu Wetland – a research partnership journey
(PDF File, 473.0 KB)
Mahuru Robb and Taruke Thomson
A research partnership with approaches for undertaking research with whānau (families) affiliated to Toreparu Wetland, highlighting the importance of collaboration with whānau throughout the process.
4. Indicators for cultural resources
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Cultural indicators (tohu) are used to understand the overall state of health and wellbeing of natural resources. They are developed from mātauranga (knowledge) within the tribal rohe (region) to make them relevant and connected.
4.1 Wātakirihi – te huakita o te wātakirihi – bacterial quality of watercress
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Wātakirihi (watercress), both exotic and native, have formed an important part of our diet and tikanga (values and practices). This article highlights the impacts of adjacent land use on the health and wellbeing of this valued resource.
4.2 Kuta – the giant of freshwater habitats
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Kuta (giant spike sedge) is highly valued as a weaving resource however populations are severely diminished, impacting on access to harvesting sites and traditional use. The article covers harvesting, preparation, restoration, and monitoring to ensure the long-term sustainability of this aquatic giant.
4.3 Harakeke – weaving people together
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Harakeke (NZ flax) with associated tikanga (values and practices) and multiple cultural uses is symbolic of customary Māori life. Guidelines for establishing pā harakeke for raranga (weaving) and restoration of natural populations are outlined.
5.1 Noke – engineering our soils
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Noke (earthworms) are nature’s gardeners, improving health of soils by burrowing and recycling nutrients. Modified ecosystems, including repo (wetlands), are dominated by exotic earthworms which may alter the nature of the soils, such as nutrient dynamics.
5.2 Kōura – the ancient survivor
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Kōura (freshwater crayfish) are important kai (food) for tangata whenua (indigenous people) and are also a food source for fish and birds. Tau kōura is a traditional Māori method for harvesting kōura which is successfully being used to monitor the health of populations.
5.3 Ruru – he tangi na te ruru – conversations in the night
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Rangi Mahuta, Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman, and Huriwai Paki
Exploring links between the ruru (morepork) (not your typical wetland bird) and repo (wetland), and how our cultural relationships with them highlight those connections.
5.4 Kawau – te mokopuna a Terepunga/the offspring of Terepunga
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Tekiteora Rolleston-Gabel and John Innes
Kawau and related shag species are aquatic taonga (culturally significant) birds, which have declined in numbers. To address this, the first step is for whānau to kōrero (discuss) with kaumātua about their memories of kawau so that cultural connections can be re-established.
5.5 Matamata – eating with our tūpuna
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Rangi Mahuta, Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman, and Cindy Baker
Matamata (whitebait) are more than a delicacy. The article explores the importance of whitebaiting as a way of life, the passing down of knowledge about harvesting to future generations, and the tikanga associated with whitebait and connected plants and animals in those same spaces.
6. Herbicide use – finding the balance
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Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman
Considering the use or non-use of herbicides in repo (wetland) restoration projects according to the whakaaro (philosophy) of the whānau (families), marae (Māori social and cultural centre), hapū (subtribe), and iwi (tribe).
6.1 Impacts of willow control on terrestrial invertebrates
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This case study describes the effects of aerially applied glyphosate on insects in a willow-invaded wetland and provides recommendations for re-establishment of invertebrate communities typical of native wetlands.
6.2 Impacts of willow and willow control on zooplankton
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This study describes the effects of ground-control application of metsulfuron on small aquatic animals with interesting results.
6.3 Maurea Islands – a restoration journey
(PDF File, 1.1 MB)
Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman, Jaedyn Falwasser, and John Brown
Restoring repo (wetlands) often involves hard decisions about the use of herbicides to control invasive plants that can impact on restoration goals. This case study explores the pros and cons of carrying out restoration without chemicals and what was learnt from that experience.
7. Mātauranga Māori – Māori knowledge
(PDF File, 316.1 KB)
Shaun Awatere, Garth Harmsworth, and Mahuru Robb
Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) is a multifaceted knowledge system that reflects the world from an indigenous cultural perspective and is intimately linked through whakapapa (connections).
7.1 Rākau preservation Technique – unlocking dormant knowledge
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A tohu (cultural indicator) for repo (wetland) health that supports the aspirations of Waikato-Tainui, using a kaupapa Māori research process (research underpinned by Māori values).
Rākau preservation technique – research pamphlet
(PDF File, 3.0 MB)
A research aid to promote the development of tohu (cultural indicators) and gain the interest of tribal members from Waikato-Tainui.
7.2 Waitaki restoration
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Gail Tipa, Kyle Nelson, Mandy Homes, and Myra Tipa
An integrated aquatic restoration programme at large-catchment scale was developed by tangata whenua (indigenous people), and implemented in partnership with several government and private agencies. Environmental report cards for assessing cultural health are used to report on restoration outcomes.
7.3 Hei whenua ora – Te Hākari Dune Wetland
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A dune wetland restoration project grounded in kaupapa (issues) and tikanga (values and practices) Māori has been under way on the Horowhenua Coast since 2000. To date successful restoration has resulted from applying appropriate tikanga including karakia (prayer), protocols for all researchers, and extensive rehabilitation work.
Glossary: Ngā whakamarama/Māori terms
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Glossary: List of flora and fauna species
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