Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice

This past couple of months has really cemented in my mind the importance of passing on of knowledge/matauranga to those around us. Whether that's a farmer sharing their experience or myself and others talking about mahinga kai, it's all valuable - knowledge is power, right?

Passing on the knowledge/matauranga

I had the opportunity to attend a Noho Marae at Takahanga Marae with members of the Kaikōura District Council planning team and Environment Canterbury staff, as well as some of the Hurunui Waiau Water Zone Committee members.

It was an incredible experience being able to reconnect with my whakapapa and learning from Maurice Manawatu of Ngai Tahu about the history of Kaikōura. The depth of his knowledge is unfathomable- he could talk to the Ngai Tahu, Waitaha and Ngati Mamoe and the migration, wars, intermarriages, building of pa sites, the richness of resources and of course, the importance of mahinga kai. I feel like my knowledge and appreciation of this beautiful Kaikōura area has increased threefold.

Plan Change 5 - focusing on mahinga kai

I attended a training day for farm environment plan auditors. A big  Part of the day included training on new mahinga kai element farmers are required to now address in their Farm Environment Plans (FEPs) and in turn be audited on. in accordance with Plan Change 5 in the Land Water Regional Plan. This event gave us the opportunity to talk to the auditors about the background and history of mahinga kai and why it is important to us.

We then took them to see a series of on-farm sites to show what mahinga kai might look like in the real world. This included sites where no work had been done to protect mahinga kai, where a project was four years down the track and then another that has been going on for 20 years.

The auditors asked a lot of challenging questions and really wanted to get to the nitty gritty details which is great. If they have an understanding of the details, both farmers and the environment will be better served when it comes to auditing time.

Makarini Rupene fishing for mahinga kai

Practising sustainability

The idea of eating sustainably is growing rapidly in New Zealand and internationally. People are wanting to know where their food is coming from- is it sustainable? Is it environmentally friendly?

I was invited to speak to more than 200 people at the Eat Sustainable Foods conference about mahinga kai and our values of ki uta ki tai "from the mountains to the sea", how we see our role as guardians of the land and how in Canterbury, the regional council has cultural land management advisors, like myself, to help fulfil this vision.

The main theme of this event was about ensuring the practices and products we produce are sustainable and available for our children and our children's children.

Teaching Mahinga kai values

Speaking of children and youth, I took a group of young people out to teach them about mahinga kai, what it looks like, how to do it which ended with us catching and cooking up some flounder and shellfish they had gathered.

In September we had the Love the Lyell clean up and I was blown away by the number of people who took part in this great community event. It also coincided with Maori Language Week and it was a good opportunity to teach a new word throughout the day- tauki which means awesome! It really was an awesome day!

With Plan Change 5 approaching anyone needing a consent or wanting some more insight into mahinga kai values don’t hesitate to give me a call as I’m happy to come over and have a cuppa and chat.

Student collecting mahinga kai

Gathering Tuaki/Cockles

Student collecting mahinga kai