Date30 Jul 2023
I mua, he pātaka waitai kikī ana i te kūtai me te pātiki, ā, nāwai rā kua tūkinohia ngā wai o Ōkahu e ngā pāpātanga o te tāone e tipu haere ana. Nā te parakaingaki, ngā waka hao, ngā waka hērā runaruna me ngā wai o ngā rori i heke ai te mauri o tētahi pūnaha hauropi moana pakari.
Mai i te tau 2017, kua whai a Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei ki te whakahaumanu i tō rātou whanga mā te aro ki tētahi āhuatanga motuhake o te taiao moana i runga i te tūmanako mā tēnei e hua ake ai te haumanutanga mā ētahi atu huarahi.
Mā te harakeke, kua hanga tētahi rōpū kairaranga i ētahi taura e āhei ai te whakaoho i te tipu o ngā kūtai i roto i te moana. Ka taea e ngā hua kūtai te piri ki ngā taura ki reira tipu ai, he nōhanga tūwhena ngā taura, ā, he pōpopo te katoa. E whakaarotia ana hei taonga hira o te moana, ā, ka āwhina te tipu o ngā kuku i roto i te moana i te kounga o te wai i te mea ka tango i ngā waipara me ētahi atu matū. Ka āwhina hoki ki te hāpai i te kanorau koiora i te mea he nōhanga ngā taura mō ētahi atu momo.
E hia rau mita o te taura i whiriwhiria mai rā anō i te tīmatanga o te kaupapa, ā, he whaihua tonu te whakamahinga o tēnei mātauranga hoahoa tuku iho mō te iwi me te moana.
Kua whakanōhia ētahi taura pēnei i ēnei huri noa i Ōkahu, i te taha o Tāmaki Drive hoki e Ngāti Whatua Ōrākei, i runga i te whāinga ka tāpirihia ētahi atu i roto i te wā.
E whakaatu ana te pāpātanga mīharo o tēnei hāpaiora āhua māmā nei i te mana me te waiwai o te mātauranga Māori. Nā te whakamahi i ngā taura harakeke i whakakore ai te hiahia kia whakauru kirihou anō ki roto i te moana, i āhei ai hoki ngā matū māori, matū maha ki te āwhina i te tipu o te kaimoana me te whakapai i te moana.
Kua whakaritea he taura ki ngā whanga puta noa i te motu, ā, i tino whaihua. I konei ka whakamihi mātou i te aumangea o ēnei mātauranga me te inati o te raukaha o ngā mahi tuku iho ki te takahuri i te pāpātanga taiao i puta i te ao hou.
Nā Tanya Reihana White ēnei taura i whiri, me te tautoko o ngā mema o te rōpū raranga o Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei me John Kaulima-Panapa. E mahi ana a Tanya i tēnei kaupapa me Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei mai i te tau 2017, otirā e whakamōhio ana tēnei mahi i tana rangahau haere tonu i te harakeke e pā ana ki te pā harakeke o Rangimārie.
I muri i te whakaaturanga, ka noho ēnei taura ki te taha i ērā i Ōkahu.
Once a saltwater pātaka filled with green-lipped mussels and flounder, the waters of Ōkahu Bay have suffered from the impacts of a city growing around it. Sewage, trawlers, recreational sailing vessels and road run-off have all contributed to the degradation of a robust ocean ecosystem.
Since 2017, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has been working to rehabilitate the bay through a focus on a particular aspect of the marine environment, in the hope this will catalyse regeneration in other ways.
Using harakeke, a rōpū of weavers have created taura (ropes) that can stimulate mussel growth in the moana. Mussel spat attach themselves on to the ropes to grow – the ropes provide a stable habitat and are completely biodegradable. Considered a significant marine taonga, mussels help to improve water quality in the moana as they remove sediment and other substances. The project also promotes biodiversity, as the taura provide a habitat for other species.
Taura such as these have been placed around Ōkahu Bay and along Tāmaki drive by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, with more to be added over time. Doing away with the need for introducing more plastics into the ocean, the harakeke taura make use of a natural and plentiful material.
The success of this seemingly simple intervention in Tāmaki and other harbours around the motu shows the power and necessity of mātauranga Māori – it has been fruitful for both the iwi and the ocean. Here we acknowledge the resilience of this knowledge and the extraordinary capacity of traditional ways of doing to reverse the harmful environmental impacts caused by modern life.
These taura have been woven by Tanya Reihana White with the support of John Kaulima-Panapa and members of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei weaving rōpū, Te Puāwai. Tanya has been working on this kaupapa with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei since 2017, and the mahi also informs her ongoing research into harakeke in relation to the pā harakeke Rangimārie, at Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae.
Following the exhibition, these taura will join others in Ōkahu Bay.
Tanya Reihana White (Ngāti Hineāmaru, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Maniapoto) is a kairaranga (weaver). As a practitioner for many years her focus has been on the integration of health and wellbeing between people and the land. Tanya White’s current role is at Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka (Unitec Institute of Technology) as Kaitiaki Taiao (lecturer).
Ngā mihi to Beronia Scott, Te Puāwai weavers, Jasmine Te Hira, Tina Pihema, John Kaulima-Panapa and Peeti Lamwilai.