Taiao, are we really practicing kaitiakitanga?

Feb. 13, 2019, 9:37 a.m.

With many environmental issues affecting Te Tai Tokerau over the last year kaitiakitanga and the practice of protecting our natural environment in a sustainable manner is now more crucial than ever.

The term ‘sustainable’ has become a trend yet for Māori this concept has been embedded since the dawn of Papatuānuku and Ranginui as a worldview which looks to protect all those within the primal parental relationship.

The war against plastic, kauri dieback, 1080 pest control and mass whale strandings are just a few issues to plague the north as we continue to look at ways to manage a way out of growing ecological problems.  Public interest in the principles of kaitiakitanga is growing and iwi groups are routinely called upon for advice in response to these environmental issues.

However, as Māori strive to get on the housing ladder, increase in population, acquire more possessions and contribute to fossil fuels the concepts of kaitiakitanga can slip away.

Under the Treaty of Waitangi one guiding principle is that of protection so Te Hiku Media asks: Are we as Māori really practicing kaitiakitanga in 2019?

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