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  • Rights: Crown copyright
    Published 18 November 2020 Referencing Hub media

    Ecological practitioners and research experts share their ideas about restoration programmes, rangatiratanga rights and building partnerships.

    Questions for discussion:

    • Each person in this video provides a unique and personal perspective on restoration. Which perspective is of special interest to you?
    • How do you think these types of conversations enhance ecological restoration projects?


    Robert McGowan

    The most important thing we have to do in New Zealand is look after our waters. And everybody is moaning and groaning, you know, because it means sacrificing, but if we want clean water, we have to take responsibility. And if we want people who live in the country to look after their wetlands and their waterways, we have to contribute, we have to help. Our future doesn’t depend on government policy. It depends on my taking responsibility and we working together. We are the ones that hold New Zealand’s future. I think in terms of restoring wetlands, we need to restore the memories around those places.

    Shannon Te Huia

    So knowing that there was once a pā or a village there and these hapū were there and tracing that right back to the waka. The land was taken and you were then told to go, and two generations before you have not been able to go there, and now all of a sudden, you’re there. You’re, the same blood, is there, and you’re healing that whenua.

    Dr Shaun Awatere

    My role as a researcher has involved looking at how iwi and hapū, how the community and how local councils, local governments come together in order to realise shared outcomes. For example, this repo here, people all came together to help restore the mauri or the wellbeing. My main message learned from a number of experiences of being part of processes that have really encouraged people to come together is really around recognising the rangatiratanga rights that iwi and hapū have with respect to guiding and shaping a restoration project.

    Dr Ian Kusabs

    We always start with the local kaumātua and the whānau. First of all, it’s a courtesy thing. And also we can share knowledge with each other, like they often have all the mātauranga of what species were there, how it was harvested, times of year. You know, it’s a relationship and it’s a partnership.

    Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman

    Cross-cultural conversations are important to get us out of that siloed approach that can often be applied to restoration. And it’s no disrespect to scientists, it’s just the way we roll. Those cross-cultural understandings allow us then to be able to sit down and talk about the whole whakapapa and then figure out how each person within that research team or that programme of action are able to then bring their skillsets together to help inform and enhance the wider, more holistic story.

    Footage, Rob McGowan watering seedlings, from Waka Huia, Scottie Productions
    Footage of Pūniu River Care Incorporated kaimahi riparian planting, Waikato River Authority
    Photo of repo rōpū, Yvonne Taura, DOC holding a hui with Waikato whānau, Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman. Both sourced from Te Reo o Te Repo – The Voice of the Wetland
    Photo ‘Rama kōura’, children silhouetted on lakes edge, and footage of kōura on lake bottom, whakaweku, and men hauling in whakaweku, Dr Ian Kusabs

    Rights: Crown Copyright

    The Voice of the Wetlands

    The handbook Te Reo o Te Repo – The Voice of the Wetland forms the basis of the collection of resources funded by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and MBIE’s Unlocking Curious Minds initiative.

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