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The following values and principles have emerged as integral to the understanding of soil health from a Māori perspective:
  • Mana, mana whakahaere/rangatiratanga/ mana motuhake
  • Mauri
  • Mahinga kai/Maara kai
  • Oranga ora, whenua ora, oneone ora
  • Whakapapa
  • Wairua
  • Taonga Tuku Iho

Examples of principles

Core values/principles Description examples
Mana, mana whakahaere, rangatiratanga, mana motuhake Authority and rights to manage land, soil, and resources, to exercise mana and kaitiakitanga over resources. Recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori land versus tribal interests (Māori land owners – iwi/hapū/whānau) to express from local through to national rights and interests (e.g. over resources, management, authority for decision-making).
Mauri Life force or energy, vitality and continued capacity of the soil to sustain/support life and wellbeing. e.g. well-functioning vital living soil ecosystems, full of soil biota, that maintain inter-connections between physical, chemical, biological components and people.
Mahinga kai/Maara kai Ability of soil to produce and sustain healthy food for harvest and collection.
Oranga ora, whenua ora, oneone ora Ability of soil to provide and ensure health and wellbeing of people (ko au te whenua, ko au te oneone, ko te whenua/oneone ko au, ngā tangata), in accordance with tikanga and kawa, (e.g. no human waste) and supply healthy food. e.g., with no harmful contaminants, pathogens, pesticides, and free of toxicity. A well-functioning soil free of contaminants and waste in accordance with cultural values.
Whakapapa Respect for ancestral links or lineage of the soil, connections back to ancestors, origins of Papatūānuku and Ranginui, Whenua, Ātua domains, also denotes family connections to place and between whānau/hapū/iwi.
Wairua The spiritual domain or dimension. Conveys elements of whenua/soils to spiritual connections which bind the living to the non-living, the heavens to the earth, to give mauri and spiritual health which transcends through to people, food and resources.
Taonga Tuku Iho Ability to sustain the soil resource for future generations, using concepts like kaitiakitanga and Te Ao Turoa. Intergenerational equity of the soil resource and its ability to provide for future generations. The soil resource is sustained, in as good or if not better condition for future generations.