Kia matau, kia mohio e ora ana te u kai po o te tangata mai i te u tae atu ki te po
Te U Kai Po is a kaupapa, a capability and a process whereby our whanau, hapu and iwi exercise kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga. It is an integrated, holistic and centred approach based on our own kaupapa and tikanga that is encapsulated in Te U Kai Po itself.
One important area we will respond to under this kaupapa is environmental resource management. There are many resource management issues we face as whanau, hapu and iwi that impact on us. These range from resource consents for developments; to territorial management and quality, fisheries, aquaculture, coastal environment, bio-security, bio diversity, climate change, pest and weed management, forestry, minerals and heritage; to engaging with a number of government agencies that have decision making and or management roles for various aspects of our environment including, Department of Conservation, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Environmental Risk Management Authority, Department of Labour, Land Transport, Ministry of Economic Development and the Historic Place Trust. There are others.
We as whanau, hapu and iwi are addressing these issues as best as we can and good work is being done by a number of people and groups. We have improved our ability over the years to address some of the issues but the number and the pace of these issues has increased.
It would be fair to say that at best we are reactive to these issues, at worse we are not engaged at all. This needs to change if we want our resource management values and aspirations realised in a real way in the future. To do this we need to take a more strategic and proactive approach. Importantly we need to promulgate our own values and aspirations. This is one of the main purposes of Te U Kai Po.
Another important aspect of this kaupapa is marae. Our marae are the cultural, spiritual, social and political centres of our hapu. It is the place where our people gather to farewell the dead, celebrate birthdays and weddings, discuss important issues of the day, recount our stories and histories and rekindle and strengthen our relationships with one another. It is perhaps the only place where our reo and our tikanga are practiced and are paramount. It is one of the few surviving institutions that define us as a people. As such it is central to our ongoing development as a unique people. Understood in this way it is clear why our marae need to be supported and maintained.