ManaakiWai App Launching To Protect And Document Wai Health

Nov. 16, 2022, 7:54 p.m.

Maunga Taniwha Ki Rangaunu Trust (MTKRT) are launching a new app called ManaakiWai. The app has been funded by a Ministry of Education Toikuranui grant. 

The grant is aimed at supporting whānau and community groups in creating products and services that encourage the use of te reo Māori. The services created as a result of this grant are to be utilised within kura, whānau and community spaces within Te Hiku o Te Ika.

MTKRT's overall vision for ManaakiWai is to help restore the waterways that flow from Maunga Taniwha through to the Rangaunu Harbour. MTKRT will also focus on health and well being via local wānanga for rangatahi and whānau in Te Hiku. 

Jaroz Popata, Project Manager for MTKRT, told Tautīnei that;

"We aim to improve the wellbeing of our whānau and create observations of their direct environment as a step towards tiaki taiao. For example; climate change, parakore, whakamātautau wai. 

The ManaakiWai app is a platform to observe our direct environment and journal or 'take note' of what's happening around us in relation to maramataka," detailed Popata.

"Days good for fishing are not necessarily the same everywhere so ManaakiWai allows users to document good days/nights to go for hīkoi, fish, collect kaimoana, prep gardens or just when a physical change in their environment happens, for example when fields are in bloom with flowers which I had seen along Awanui straight this month," explained Popata.

The ManaakiWai app has been developed to document personal observations of the users environment in reference to maramataka. The information used within the app is based on documents that have been noted by an esteemed tupuna, Nopera Panakareao.

Panakareao was a leader in his lifetime and was the 38th signature on Te Tiriti o Waitangi. He is noted for his extensive knowledge of the landscape of Te Hiku o Te Ika and formed many relationships as a kaitiaki for the whenua and moana.

It is hoped that ManaakiWai will capture the changing environment during particular periods of time. 

ManaakiWai provides users with the tools to observe and note their surroundings, whilst encouraging active care for our local waterways.

With the recent election of the first ever wahine Māori Chair for Te Raki, the Māori Constituency within the Northland Regional Council, the timing couldn't be any better for enhancing and further promoting environmental guardianship for Māori via ManaakiWai.

Tui Shortland spoke to Te Hiku Radio about her aspirations within her new role;

"I have invested 20 years in Māori environmental management, specialising in air, water, soil, community monitoring and restoration projects. I have over 10 years of international relationship building experience and policy expertise in oceans, climate, biodiversity & indigenous rights.

The three waters reform has been controversial and is the reason I want to share the correct information."

Generational knowledge, kaitiakitanga, te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori are dominant themes being encouraged and pursued by many organisations, including government. The introduction of new Māori Constituency bodies within these organisations will help build solid foundations for future generations.

Tautīnei asked Popata how they intend on incorporating rangatahi wānanga into their kaupapa to ensure sustainability and connectivity for the future, she responded;

“We currently deliver a volunteer based tuakana-teina programme. This provides rangatahi aged 13 -16 with one-on-one mentoring and one day activities to experience different mediums to support whānau healthy wellbeing.

We had the present and future generations in mind when we developed ManaakiWai. Documenting important observations will help us retain important information about our surroundings.

We are planning to hold more 12-week hauora wānanga next year alongside our mentor team. We'll promote this programme early next year," detailed Popata.

When Tautīnei asked Popata if she could elaborate on the well known whakataūki by the late Reverend Māori Marsden; "when the water is poor the people are unhealthy and if it is healthy then the people are healthy," she responded;

"It's a whakataukī that reflects on re-engaging our whānau to our natural 

environs, whether it's going outside to experience a walk in the sun or moonlight, touching the grass, watching clouds go by, patting your mōkai or going to the moana and feeling the full experience of Tangaroa. 

Our tūpuna (natural environs or beings) hold immense energy that invokes 'oranga' - wellbeing. If we stopped to observe and maybe consider how well we are alongside our natural environment then this ideation generally evolves into action steps of kaitiakitanga.

We want every nook and turn of our waterways to be observed, encouraging tangata whenua and our community to feel they are part of the solution to care for our waterways. Noting that hapū are highly active in this space and promote our community to participate in kaitiakitanga alongside them," said Popata.

ManaakiWai is set to launch on the 9th of December 2022 and MTKRT are planning on going live via their Facebook page. The rōpū will hold prize giveaways to promote their launch and will also share these via social media.

Once released, you can head to the Apple store or the Google playstore to download ManaakiWai for free. 

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