Three pilot projects in Paeroa, Taranaki and Wānaka have each received a share of $8 million to revitalise te Taiao and share their pathway with others seeking to revitalise te Taiao in their places. The funding recipients, announced today by the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge (Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai), collectively carry the name Ngā Kaiurungi Taiao. The name refers to leaders for te Taiao steering a navigational pathway forward.
The principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi – partnership, participation and protection – will guide and direct the journey between tangata whenua and tangata tiriti to revitalise Te Taiao. In Te Ika-a-Māui (the North Island), the Paeroa-based project Rere ki Uta, Rere ki Tai has been allocated $2.7 million to test farming methods that aim to enhance the mana and mauri of the soil across 10 farms. The project will be led by AgriSea’s Tane Bradley (Ngāti Maniapoto) and Clare Bradley. AgriSea’s seaweed innovation won the Callaghan Innovation Hi-Tech Māori Company award at the 2022 Hi-Tech New Zealand Awards. Rere ki Uta, Rere ki Tai is bringing together indigenous knowledge and regenerative agriculture principles to create an approach to farming that focuses on oneone (soil) as the centre of an interconnected cycle, unique to Aotearoa New Zealand.
In Taranaki, Te Kāhui Rau has been allocated $860,000 to revitalise hapū whenua and whānau. This hapūbased research and regeneration kaupapa aims to reignite whānau connection to their whenua and Taiao within Ngāti Tawhirikura, Te Ātiawa Nui Tonu and beyond. The insights from this research will enable Te Kāhui Rau to fully implement their Indigenous Regenerative Systems Framework to heal and restore the mana and mauri of te Taiao, to revitalise the health and vitality of hapū whenua and whānau. Te Kāhui Rau will utilise mātauranga Māori and biophysical science to plant seeds and nurture growth that will benefit generations to come.
At the helm of this kaupapa are Glen Skipper (Te Ātiawa Nui Tonu, Taranaki Tūturu Iwi, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Rāru) and Bry Kopu (Ngāti Mutunga, Te Ātiawa Nui Tonu). In Te Waka-a-Māui Te Waipounamu (the South Island), WAI Wānaka is leading the project Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao. This project has been allocated $2.09 million to fund research goals that include expanding traditional farm plans beyond tools of regulation, to enhance the vitality of te Taiao. The project is guided by a vision of healthy ecosystems and community wellbeing for future generations.
WAI Wānaka aims to take a whole-of-community and whole-of-basin approach across rural, urban and tourism sectors to increase knowledge and accelerate action that revitalises te Taiao. WAI Wānaka is committed to accelerating local action for freshwater and te Taiao. The mighty Te MataAu/Clutha river flows out of the upper Clutha catchment covering a total area of 4600km2 . WAI Wānaka chair Mandy Bell and project leader Prue Kane are committed to partner with tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti, the local landowners and kaitiaki mana whenua of this region to revitalise te Taiao.