Most people, from my generation or older, had a favourite river or waterhole they enjoyed growing up as a Kiwi kid. But few would swim in them today – assuming they actually still existed.
The fact is, the ‘bottom line’ regulatory approach of the Government's freshwater reforms is flawed.
I am part of Te Awaroa, a project aiming to create a national movement of Kiwis taking action to care for waterways by understanding this issue from the perspective of the river – asking what would the river say/what is it saying? Te Awaroa draws from mātauranga Māori – Māori knowledge, culture, values and world view as well as science and technology. We were buoyed by the Te Awa Tupua Act 2017 which granted the Whanganui River a legal personality and recognition as an ancestor and an integrated living whole which flows from mountains to sea.
In a Māori worldview, all things are connected in a kinship-based-relationship with Te Taiao – the Earth, Universe and everything within it. Whakapapa is the central principle that orders the Te Taiao, as one whole interconnected system, comprising component parts – Taimoana the realm of water; Taiwhenua – the realm of land; Taitangata – the realm of living things; Tairangi – the realm of the atmosphere: all inextricably linked parts of the whole. . . . read on . .>