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Te Reo o Te Repo cultural wetland handbook launched

A new cultural repo (wetland) handbook has been launched to help give a voice to repo throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. Te Reo o Te Repo – Kei konei tonu au | The voice of the wetland – I am still here is the second volume of the Te Reo o Te Repo cultural wetland handbook series published by Manaaki Whenua. The handbook, launched at the INTECOL International Wetland Conference, focuses on providing more information on the cultural significance of repo to help define priorities for wetland restoration.  

“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. 

Download Te Reo o Te Repo – Kei konei tonu au

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