“Te Reo o Te Repo – Kei konei tonu au continues to advocate the voices of our repo through the voices of our people and provides Māori values, knowledge, and perspectives from across Aotearoa New Zealand, ranging from whānau, marae, hapū, and iwi-led restoration projects and practical demonstrations that illustrate the diversity of our precious wetland ecosystems, to academic research that provide the underpinning of cultural resources and mātauranga Māori-based tools and approaches,” says Manaaki Whenua Kairangahau Māori (Māori researcher) Yvonne Taura.
Repo sustain indigenous biota, filter nutrients, absorb floodwaters, and sequester carbon, providing multiple economic, social and cultural benefits. However, 90% of repo in Aotearoa New Zealand has been lost since European settlement and the remaining wetlands are still under threat of being further degraded by human impacts.
Co-editors say the new addition to the cultural wetland handbook series, funded by Strategic Science Investment Funding for Crown Research Institutes, will be a useful tool in restoring and reconnecting whānau to their local repo.
“Recognising that our repo are still sadly declining, we felt that we needed to maintain their presence in national conversations. It encourages us to build on our remaining indigenous biodiversity by using our own mātauranga gifted to us from our tūpuna,” Taura adds.