The people of Tauranga Moana have endured countless challenges over the year including the Rena wreck, pollution of their waters and most recently, outer treaty claims.
Despite these challenges Tauranga Moana locals have still maintained the mauri of their ancestral land.
Maia Wharekura (Tauranga Moana) says, “Even though Tauranga is rapidly growing, it's still a beautiful place. It can be seen throughout the farmlands, the mountain tops, the forests, the rivers and the ocean.”
"It's about standing strong in this world with our language, the language of the sea and the language of our environment."
Wharekura has been a teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Otepou in Tauranga for a number of years. His biggest passion is to ensure the next generation know all the stories of their ancestral lands.