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, and students
- To support and advise the NZFSS executive committee on Te Ao Māori worldview and appropriate kawa and tikanga
- Develop and foster partnerships with indigenous freshwater organisations, scientists, researchers, and students internationally
- 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
- Annual kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) meetings and regular email communications
- Dissemination of research and potential funding opportunities to Māori organisations and groups
- 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
Rōpū Māori members are expected to support the purposes of the Rōpū Māori. The NZFSS Rōpū Māori is open to past and present NZFSS members and conference attendees who identify as Māori, as well as those who support, work or associate with Māori on freshwater. If you would like to join the Rōpū Māori, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Rōpū Māori members receive regular email pānui, are invited to attend annual hui, and vote for Rōpū Māori representatives on the NZFSS executive.