'Kia ora tonu te 'mauri' o te moana o Pikopiko I Whiti mo ake tonu' - To maintain and enhance the life-force of the inner sea of the Bay of Islands for all time

Maiki Marks, Secretary, policy and planning, Kororareka Marae Society Incorporated

The paper is about the practice of Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) over te moana o Pikopiko I Whiti (the inner sea of the Bay of Islands) and the Resource Management Act and its accompanying processes and procedures, enforced by territorial authorities in Northland which limit, frustrates and creates enormous workloads and costs for Kaitiaki (guardians) and Kai-tautoko (supporters) of Te Ao Maori (the Maori world view).

The Kororareka marae society was established to build a marae and to promote te reo Maori and tikanga Maori (Maori language and culture) in Kororareka. With the advent of the Resource Management Act and the adoption of significant aspects of Te Ao Maori (the Maori world) members have taken a pro-active stance to protect taonga tuku iho (precious gifts handed down into our care) by establishing quality systems, processes and procedures from a Maori base. Transparent and open management systems ensure that all participants are able to determine the nature and scope of such practice.

This paper will present case studies arising from the practices of Kaitiakitanga in te moana o Pikopiko I Whiti and the Kororareka environs (the inner sea of the Bay of Islands and Russell). We will provide examples which reveal the nature of the relationship of Maori and our culture and traditions, our ancestral lands, sites, water, waihi tapu and other taonga.

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