Coastal areas are significant to Māori both spiritually and as a source of food, weaving and carving materials. People have reduced the coast’s natural values and its ability to provide food and other resources but there are many things we can do to help restore our coasts and respect traditional beliefs.
Coastal resources continue to provide sustenance and identity to coastal Maori. Rare weaving materials, such as pingao, grow on coastal dunes. Harbours and estuaries are important breeding, nursery and feeding grounds for fish and birds such as patiki (flounder), matamata (whitebaitf) and kuaka (godwits).
Māori regard the coastal environment as 'baskets of food' providing kaimoana for the coastal community. As a food source, tfhe coast needs to be treated with respect. For example, it is inappropriate to discharge waste into coastal areas.
Sand dunes contain many important cultural sites including:
These sites are very significant spiritually to Māori. They also provide a tangible reminder of our history and help us understand the past better.
Over the years we have lost a lot of the natural character of the Waikato Region’s coastal environment.
We have changed our coasts by:
Mahinga kai (food collection sites) have been depleted by:
Many people are concerned about the desecration of urupa (burial grounds) in caves and beneath sand dunes along the coastline.
Waikato Regional Council is working with Iwi Trust Boards to produce ‘memoranda of agreement’. These will provide guidelines on how we can best work together.
We also take into account the significance of sites to tangata whenua and request that applicants consult with iwi as part of resource consent applications.
There are lots of ways we can all help.
For policy information on a Māori perspective on the coast check out our Regional Coastal Plan.
Find out more about Māori use and perspectives on management of the Waikato region’s resources in:
|Rahui||Ban or prohibition on collecting resources|
|Tangata whenua||People of the land|