Te Tai Ao


Te Aho Tapu

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The health and integrity of our lands, waters, forests, flora, fauna and food species are understood within a holistic kaitiaki paradigm that begins with the acknowledgement of the interconnection and interdependence of all things. These elements are linked in Te Tai Ao through mahinga kai, mara, nohoanga, wahi tapu and wahi tipuna as key cultural and biophysical determinants of the wellbeing and advancement of Maori whanau, communities and nations.

In this new Kaupapa Maori environmental research programme funded by Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga co-led by Professor Helen Moewaka Barnes and Professor Michael Walker, we are studying ancient Māori adaptations to significant climate change and developing new understandings of the associations between healthy populations and healthy places. We are also working to rebuild the health of our waterways and developing new law, policy and models for advancing Maori environmental governance.
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Whariki leads a foundation project Te Aho Tapu, within the Te Tai Ao programme. Focusing on the theme of healthy people/healthy places, the overall aim of Te Aho Tapu is to build knowledge around mātauranga Māori-driven theory, research, decision making and action through working across community-driven projects, based on aspirations and actions generated by those communities.
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Te Roopu Taiao o Utakura

The purpose of the research was to explore issues of water quality in the Utakura Valley and,
in particular, its relationship with the health and wellbeing of the local people. The research
programme built on a number of smaller projects and initiatives that had been undertaken by
the group in previous years and also funded several focussed projects. Read more


More information on our Te Tai Ao research here

Nga Pae

Helen Moewaka Barnes is co-theme leader Te Tai Ao, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Maori Centre of Research Excellence.