Toi Tangata Celebrates World Water Day with Call to Value Water for the Taonga it is
World Water Day is celebrated annually on 22 March all around the world. This year Toi Tangata is celebrating World
Water Day by urging people to draw on mātauranga Māori to value water as a taonga, recognising that the wellbeing of our
water is directly linked to the wellbeing of our people.
Toi Tangata believes that a solution to improving both water quality and whanau health lies in adopting Māori values and
views towards the resource.
“Water is essential to life and critical to our health and wellbeing so it’s only natural that the purity of our water
is intrinsically linked to the vitality of our people,” says Toi Tangata National Programmes Manager, Callie Corrigan.
“Engaging with the whakapapa and mātauranga of wai (water) re-engages and enables people to value their role as
effective kaitiaki of wai and consequently, their own wellbeing and that of their whanau.”
“We can’t deny that there is an inextricable link between environmental health and whanau physical, spiritual, mental,
and emotional health, so by caring for water, we are caring for our people,” adds Toi Tangata Training and Development
Specialist, Darrio Penetito-Hemara.
“We want Maori approaches to be connected to solutions and that means resourcing and valuing our knowledge of wai.
Kaitiakitanga will allow the whakapapa or mauri of wai to continue to have a positive influence on oranga (wellbeing).”
Toi Tangata applauds the recent historic passing of the Te Awa Tupua Bill which legally recognised Te Awa Tupua
(Whanganui River) as a living and indivisible entity with its own rights and innate values, and looks forward to Māori
values being drawn on in the future.
“The passing of the Te Awa Tupua bill is certainly a positive step forward in recognising the relationship between Māori
and wai and ideally we would like to see the acknowledgement of this connection roll out across the country and see an
increase in kaitiakitanga,” says Callie.
Toi Tangata aims to promote wai from a mātauranga Māori perspective through their Wai Ariki approach, which highlights
the importance and value of water to health and wellbeing by drawing on links that weave and connect to the whakapapa
and mauri of wai. They will be delivering a workshop based on wai at their upcoming symposium in April.
About Toi Tangata
Toi Tangata is a national Māori agency which focuses on developing and delivering positive health initiatives to
accelerate health outcomes for Māori. They are a team of specialists dedicated to implementing health approaches
informed by mātauranga Māori.
As a national public health leader, Toi Tangata acts as key advisors to the Ministry of Health for Māori approaches to
public health and physical activity.