Managing World’s Precious Taonga – Water

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Management and guardianship of one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s most precious resources will be discussed at a two-day research symposium in Christchurch next week.

The research symposium “Tangaroa ki uta, Tangaroa ki tai: Water, our future”, convened by Ng? Pae o te M?ramatanga, New Zealand’s M?ori Centre of Research Excellence, and co-hosted with Ng?i Tahu, will showcase research of relevance to water and provide a much-needed national platform for researchers, policy-makers and communities to discuss issues surrounding water.

Director of Ng? Pae o te M?ramatanga, Professor Charles Royal says that water is a topic of vital importance to the future of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Overall the symposium will follow the two broad themes of Kaitiakitanga, M?tauranga and Taonga; and Mana, Tino Rangatiratanga, K?wanatanga.

Ng? Pae o te M?ramatanga researchers, including Drs James ?taria, Daniel Hikuroa, Kepa Morgan, Jane Kitson, Shaun Ogilvie, Mere Kepa and Marama Muru-Landing, will present their research with a focus on local and national issues and strategies.

Topics will include mitigating health risks from a lethal toxin in sea slugs using science and traditional knowledge; finding workable solutions for management and restoration of rivers and waterways through traditional knowledge-based systems and bi-cultural models; and appropriately managing water-related food resources.

Other keynote addresses will be from Mark Solomon, Ng?i Tahu, Morrie Love from Wai M?ori on “National issues and strategies”; Lynne Parehaereone Raumati, Haumoana White, and Russell Gibbs speaking on “Global crises in water”; and Deborah McGregor from University of Toronto discussing governance and international perspectives on water in “Indigenous Peoples and water: honouring our responsibilities”.

Professor Royal says: “‘Tangaroa ki uta, Tangaroa ki tai: Water, our future’ is a critical opportunity to showcase our research and to consult community, government and academia over research priorities.”

Attendees to the symposium can participate in workshops to learn about helpful research-based tools which have been employed or developed by researchers, such as the Mauri Model, for water change management, use and environmental sustainability.

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