To Māori, freshwater is a taonga and tangata Māori are the kaitiaki (guardians). The concept of Te Mana o Te Wai reflects the recognition of fresh water as a natural resource whose health is integral to the social, cultural, economic and environmental well-being of communities.
The vision of the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society Rōpū Māori (hereafter Rōpū Māori) is the successful participation of Māori in freshwater sciences, management and research where Māori principles, values and interests are identified and valued within the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society (NZFSS).
Mō wai, mōu māori mā – Water for all
The purposes of the Rōpū Māori are to:
- Provide a support network for Māori freshwater scientists, researchers, and students, including mentoring and identifying research scholarship opportunities for emerging Māori scientists, researchers
- To support and advise the NZFSS committee on Te Ao Māori worldview and appropriate kawa and tikanga
- Develop and foster partnerships with indigenous freshwater organisations, scientists, researchers in other countries
- Be a point of contact for iwi, hapū and the wider community interested in freshwater sciences, management and research from a Māori perspective
The NZFSS Rōpū Māori uses the following methods to address their purpose:
- Grow the Rōpū Māori by publicising the group and recruiting members interested in Wai Māori
- Establishment of a database of Māori freshwater scientists, researchers, and students
- The Hui ā Tau (Annual Group Meeting – Video conferencing will be available at the Hui ā Tau (AGM) and regular email communications to members
- Dissemination of research and potential funding opportunities to Māori organisations and groups
- Establish and maintain a social media (twitter) profile for the Rōpū Māori
- Seek funding and sponsorship to allow for the participation of Māori delegates (iwi, hapū) and students at NZFSS conferences
- Contribute to the annual NZFSS newsletter
Kawenga mema/Roles and responsibilities of members
Membership of the NZFSS Rōpū Māori is open to those who identify as Māori, as well as those who support, work or associate with Māori on freshwater, including students. New members are welcome.
Membership of the NZFSS Rōpū Māori, subject to eligibility, can currently be sought in the following categories:
- NZFSS member: A present or past (< 1 year) financial member of the NZFSS
- Associate member: a conference attendee (past or present) or a person who demonstrates an active interest in the Rōpū Māori and its purpose
When joining the NZFSS Rōpū Māori a confirmation email will be sent to the new member by a Rōpū Māori representative via . Members are expected to support the purposes of the Rōpū Māori.