Posted on 01 December 2020
Maramataka wānanga: making connections
The Ngā Tohu o te Ao project team hosted their first kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) wānanga in Tauranga, which brought together the research collective of: Pakirikiri Wananga (Tokomaru Bay, Ngati Porou), Ngati Kuri (Taitokerau), Ngai Tukairangi (Tauranga Moana) as well as project advisors and the research team from Manaaki Te Awanui.
The research collective have been investigating principles of te Ao Māori concepts for connecting and assessing the environment as well as using existing tools that can support the use of maramataka for their individual projects. Until now, project wānanga have been implemented online due to Covid-19.
At the wānanga, the case study groups shared their initial plans of how they will use the Ngā Tohu and Te Tāhuhu projects within their rohe:
- Pakirikiri Wananga are aiming to develop a monitoring plan based on maramataka for their rohe moana (marine area) and investigate tools and frameworks that will assist in the management of mahinga mātaitai (shellfish).
- Ngati Kuri are aiming to overlay and connect existing projects using a maramataka framework.
- The Tauranga Moana whānau have been implementing a surveillance /management plan for the invasive Asian paddle crab. The whānau aim to build a monitoring plan using maramataka to inform a biosecurity plan with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
As this was the first kanohi ki te kanohi wānanga, the outcomes for the research collective was whakahoro, to connect, the research team and 3 whānau with:
- Each other
- Useful tools – eg the research team adapted an open source app for the Tauranga whānau, enabling them to collect and analyse field data about crab activity in realtime, and in a standardised way that is in combination with the lunar phase and environmental conditions
- Resources – eg for archiving maramataka
- Others in the maramataka space – there were two guest speakers who Zoomed from Hawai’i who shared kōrero about how kaulana mahina (Hawai’ian lunar calendar) have been revived.
Maramataka (lunar calendars/almanacs) are applied by Māori practitioners to inform interaction with the environment and guide ecosystem management practices.
“Maramataka are a uniquely Māori way of viewing space and time that can reveal links and connections in te taiao, the natural world,” says Caine Taiapa, the Project Co-Leader and General Manager at Manaaki Te Awanui.
As part of the wānanga, each group brought a taonga mauri. These taonga mauri were then collected and taken back with the Ngati Kuri whānau, where the next wānanga will be. We anticipate having this wānanga in April. Before this wānanga, the research team will work with each case study group to build their respective projects.