EPISODE 40: WATER IS TAONGA
In New Zealand the approach to water rights is not much different than any other indigenous peoples in the commonwealth. Down under is a huge debate about who owns and manages the water resource. In fact the Maori have been embroiled in their fair share of water rights disputes, both foreshore rights and to rights associated with fresh water and thermal energy. We look at how and why Maori consider water a treasure and we learn why they feel that they have first rights on management of water.
Part 1: WATER AS TAONGA?
The Maori of New Zealand have a unique connection to water often referring to this connection as a treasure or TAONGA.
Maori believe they are one with water. Their creation stories have them descended from water spirits and they cite mountains and river systems as their ancestors. The connection to water is physical and spiritual. Water as Taonga will describe this relationship through the voices of some of our principal characters, Sir Ed Durie, Annette Sykes, Angeline Greensill and kamatua (Elder) Sean Elisson. Our story begins on the National holiday that celebrates the treaty signed in 1840 called Treaty of Waitangi. We witness the training of paddling one of the largest seagoing canoes in the world: The Ngātokimatawhaorua.