Te kōrero a te reporepo – Understanding the connection between tohu, te maramataka and the health of te taiao
Our tūpuna were experts in reading tohu o te taiao to live more attuned with the environment and gather kai at the optimal times. Their understanding of their own local taiao is recorded and woven throughout kōrero tuku iho. The maramataka is an example of kōrero tuku iho which provides a uniquely Māori way to record, organise and understand ngā tohu o te taiao.
In response to diminished eco-systems, several kura, marae, and hāpori around the Hokianga are exploring their own solutions to restoring the taiao and their pātaka kai, through the learnings imbedded in kōrero tuku iho. These kaupapa also strengthen identity and te reo ā-iwi, while rejuvenating the mātauranga and practices of our tūpuna.
Around the Hokianga, reporepo (swamp lands) are particularly important as they influence and indicate the health of water ways and other connected ecosystems.
Thus, this study aims to 1) understand the connection between tohu of the reporepo, the phases of the maramataka, and the ‘health’ of local ecosystems, 2) build capacity of local rangatahi and whānau to explore and monitor their local environment utilising modern technologies alongside Māori knowledge, and 3) disseminate learnings and promote these practices to kura, marae, and hāpori throughout the Hokianga.