Mauri compass way forward to protecting our waterways

'Mauri' the missing link between Maori and western scientific views, and chair says committee would be happy to recommend it to full council.

'Mauri' the missing link between Maori and western scientific views, and chair says committee would be happy to recommend it to full council.

Picture by Ian Ruru

THE waiata Haere ra e Paoa rang out as Turanganui a Kiwa representatives marked the presentation of their mauri compass to Gisborne District Council’s wastewater management committee.

The committee will recommend the compass to the full council. Presenter Ian Ruru said the waiata had been chosen because it represented all Maori people of the district.

Mr Ruru and fellow presenters Joanne Pere and Monalisa Smith launched the mauri compass as a tool to measure the mauri (vital essence) of the district’s water.

They told the committee the compass’s cultural framework was consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi and mana motuhake (self-determination), te kaitiakitanga (environment), and mana whakahaere (management).

It would promote, protect and enhance the mauri over the waterways within the Turanganui a Kiwa rohe and ensure the recognition of the mana of the iwi and hapu of the Turanganui a Kiwa rohe.

The mauri of water must be protected because without clean water there is no life. If we pollute the water, we pollute ourselves, they said. Therefore land-based treatment of wastewater was the only option because it protected their kapata kai (food cupboard) and hauora (health) and maintained their mana.

Maori wellbeing and vitality

Mauri encompassed the integrated wellbeing of water and the intrinsic wellbeing and vitality of Maori.

The health and wellbeing of the water was the health of the people and the land including fisheries, flora and fauna.

Ray Farmer paid a tribute to the late Bill Ruru for his contribution to the mauri compass and his vast knowledge, which he was always prepared to share.

Mr Ruru’s philosophy was simple to follow: “Look after nature and it will look after you.”

His son Ian had taken up his legacy. The concept of mauri was the missing link between Maori and western scientific views, Mr Farmer said . He would like to see it enshrined in all the acts of Parliament.

Kaumatua John Ruru said he was brought up on the Waipaoa River. His working life had taken him to a number of places and showed how valuable the natural environment and water was.

But he had seen the local environment deteriorate in his lifetime. He remembered getting water in 44-gallon drums from the river in the summer and taking washing down to it.

“We lived on eels and whitebait came right up to the Kanakanaia Bridge,” he said.

Flounder were seen in the river at Kaitaratahi.

“You would not see them or the eels now and you could not imagine going torching in the river now.”

The waterways of Tairawhiti had deteriorated and it was the council’s task to address that now, Mr Ruru said.

Committee chairman Bill Burdett said the compass was the way forward for the council. It laid down the parameters of what had to be achieved. The committee would be happy to recommend it to the full council.

THE waiata Haere ra e Paoa rang out as Turanganui a Kiwa representatives marked the presentation of their mauri compass to Gisborne District Council’s wastewater management committee.

The committee will recommend the compass to the full council. Presenter Ian Ruru said the waiata had been chosen because it represented all Maori people of the district.

Mr Ruru and fellow presenters Joanne Pere and Monalisa Smith launched the mauri compass as a tool to measure the mauri (vital essence) of the district’s water.

They told the committee the compass’s cultural framework was consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi and mana motuhake (self-determination), te kaitiakitanga (environment), and mana whakahaere (management).

It would promote, protect and enhance the mauri over the waterways within the Turanganui a Kiwa rohe and ensure the recognition of the mana of the iwi and hapu of the Turanganui a Kiwa rohe.

The mauri of water must be protected because without clean water there is no life. If we pollute the water, we pollute ourselves, they said. Therefore land-based treatment of wastewater was the only option because it protected their kapata kai (food cupboard) and hauora (health) and maintained their mana.

Maori wellbeing and vitality

Mauri encompassed the integrated wellbeing of water and the intrinsic wellbeing and vitality of Maori.

The health and wellbeing of the water was the health of the people and the land including fisheries, flora and fauna.

Ray Farmer paid a tribute to the late Bill Ruru for his contribution to the mauri compass and his vast knowledge, which he was always prepared to share.

Mr Ruru’s philosophy was simple to follow: “Look after nature and it will look after you.”

His son Ian had taken up his legacy. The concept of mauri was the missing link between Maori and western scientific views, Mr Farmer said . He would like to see it enshrined in all the acts of Parliament.

Kaumatua John Ruru said he was brought up on the Waipaoa River. His working life had taken him to a number of places and showed how valuable the natural environment and water was.

But he had seen the local environment deteriorate in his lifetime. He remembered getting water in 44-gallon drums from the river in the summer and taking washing down to it.

“We lived on eels and whitebait came right up to the Kanakanaia Bridge,” he said.

Flounder were seen in the river at Kaitaratahi.

“You would not see them or the eels now and you could not imagine going torching in the river now.”

The waterways of Tairawhiti had deteriorated and it was the council’s task to address that now, Mr Ruru said.

Committee chairman Bill Burdett said the compass was the way forward for the council. It laid down the parameters of what had to be achieved. The committee would be happy to recommend it to the full council.

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