Empowering Mana Moana

Enhancing the relationship of Māori with Te Ao Turoa to inform our relationship with the moana.

Activity Leader Duration
Caine Taiapa (Kopare Solutions) 2022 – 2024


Our research approach has established a focus on ensuring the way we understand our connections and relationships with the moana reflects our unique context in Aotearoa. We have supported the reclamation, restoration and application of mātauranga and tikanga-ā-iwi to our marine interdependence. 

We are developing tailored outputs, based on our research, to inform, guide and support key partners and audiences in providing a Te Ao Māori lens and approach to marine management and governance. 

We are bringing this together under five activities:  

1. He Taura Here (TAM1) 

Developing an operational model for synthesising our research grounded in Kaupapa Māori principles.  This model informs the production of outputs that are valuable, useful and of service to Te Ao Māori both in marine contexts, and to national science research priorities. 

2. He Waka Taurua (TAM2) 

This activity seeks to utilise the Waka Taurua (double hulled waka) model concept for marine management and governance developed by the Challenge, by exploring and articulating the principles that underpin our relationship with the moana through a Te Ao Māori lens.

This will be critically important to advancing the implementation of the Waka Taurua model and its application as a vehicle for achieving the improved health of our seas. 

3. Wao Atua, Te Ara o Te Ao Turoa (TAM3) 

Elevating Te Ao Māori values and perspectives by providing alternative indigenous views of marine economy framed around the principles of Te Ao Tūroa – the long-standing natural world. 

We are providing government, marine based business, policy and the general public an understanding of Te Ao Tūroa concepts and principles as key drivers for the transition toward a blue economy. 

4. Tūhonohono (TAM4) 

Delivering guidance on how to establish and apply Māori values in research, policy, legislation, and planning that guides marine management by exploring a range of perspectives on what ‘partnership’ is, and what true co-design approaches would look like.  

The work is identifying and highlighting models and guidance founded on partnership case studies to inform local and central government agencies for the research, science, technology, and policy. 

5. Mana Motuhake (TAM5) 

An area of key interest for both Māori and Crown partners to our work is the developing dialogue and exploration of the transition from Crown governance to co-governance, to Indigenous marine governance.

Building upon previous research we’re looking at governance, Tiriti/Treaty, jurisdiction, tikanga and mātauranga Māori to deliver a roadmap that empowers and supports the dialogue in a way that can create innovative marine futures for Aotearoa. 

Research Team

Caine Taiapa (Kopare Solutions)
Waiaria Rameka (Kopare Solutions)
Kelly Ratana (Kopare Solutions)
Te Rerekohu Tuterangiwhiu (Wheiao)


This is a national project.