Talk about looking after your whenua with whānau – Jamie Tuuta

By Heta Gardiner

The Māori Trustee Jamie Tuuta says there are still a large amount of a Māori land being under-utilised. He says Māori need to take advantage of the festive season were families are all together, to start talking about their Māori land.

Treasuring the land is a fundamental part of a Māori world-view. But when it comes to actually physically embracing the earth, Te Tumu Paeroa says it isn't happening.

Tuuta says, “Most of the land that we look after, the people that own the land actually haven't seen or felt the land themselves.”

So they have turned to new marketing methods to entice the masses, especially the youth to take interest in their own family land.

“We know this generation is different. They have a different world view to the older generation, and that stretches to their viewpoint on the Māori world.”

Tuuta also says that it is the time of the year to look at these issues.

“Families come together, from the elders to the parents to the children and teenagers.”

There is a concern the relaxed attitude of most will have a detrimental impact.

“There are those that are really committed to their land, but those people are very few. If Māori do not look after their land, what will become of it?”