Māori as oceanographers - Funding secured for cross-cultural ocean knowledge network

The Mātangaireira Waka Trust, has secured $100,000 to strengthen capacity amongst Māori to help improve ocean health through the sharing of cross-cultural ocean knowledge. The Trust was one of 31 successful applications to the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

“We are delighted to support the Māori Marine Science network, and thrilled that it has evolved from the Moana Project He Papa Moana Team,” says MetService & MetOcean’s Head of Research Partnerships Prof. Moninya Roughan. 

The funding will be used to bring together experts across the fields of climate change, marine science, ocean health, and mātauranga waka to establish capacity building programmes and the Te Ahu o Rehua Network for Cross-Cultural Ocean Knowledge. Haki Tuaupiki of Mātangaireira Waka Trust says; 

 “The health of the ocean is critical to the future of us all and our knowledge of the ocean is integral to how we act and look after it. The ocean connects us to our ancestors providing a pathway across the Pacific. Our interactions with Tangaroa emphasise both our mahinga kai relationships and kaitiaki responsibilities. Improving ocean health requires transformative change across various knowledge systems in Aotearoa.” 

The aims of the programme are supported with co-funding from leading research and scientific organisations, University of Waikato, MetService/MetOcean, and NIWA. The project steering group also includes input from Victoria University of Wellington, Manaaki Te Awanui, Terra Moana Ltd, and the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board.

Te Ahu o Rehua Network will build capacity amongst Māori community members, practitioners and marine undergraduate and postgraduate students.  Workshops will be held in the North and South Islands providing participants with an intensive mix of theoretical and practical experiences, set within the contexts of science, Māori science, and mātauranga Māori, to build their capacity and understanding of cross-cultural ocean knowledge. 

The result will be a strong network of Māori marine science and mātauranga practitioners with robust marine science and climate change communities. “The benefits to whānau, hapū and Iwi will be resultant initiatives protecting and enhancing their rohe moana. While regional government will benefit through participatory projects that support kaitiakitanga o te moana”, says Mātangaireira Waka Trust. 

The Mātangaireira Waka Trust’s mission is to learn, preserve, and redistribute the practice, customs and traditions of waka, te reo Māori and Māori arts

For more information please contact us at info@moanaproject.org

Mariana Horigome