Fresh water preservation a high priority for Ngāti Kahungunu

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Maintaining and preserving fresh water for the next generation is a hot topic of concern all across New Zealand, a key element to Māoridom and a major issue of contention. It's just one of many topics that was discussed at The Ngāti Kahungunu Fish Hook Summit in Hawkes Bay.

Over the last odd twenty years, the fresh water quality of the rivers in the Hawkes Bay area has severely deteriorated and Ngāti Kahungunu has had enough.

Chair of Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngahiwi Tomoana says, “The point is to hold on to our trusteeship over the lifeforce of the water, to look after it for the next generation, we don't want to be governed by anyone else we want to take ownership of it.”

With input from various iwi around the country about fresh water, protecting these natural resources and restoring them back to health is of paramount importance.

According to the Interim Chief Executive of Ngāti Kahungunu, Adele Whyte, “we see this as vital to the iwi development, natural resources is a key driver in the Māori economy and we want to make sure that we grow this resource and protect this resource.”

It's important to the iwi, to develop the youth and get involved in summits like this.

This is the fourth year that Kahungunu have hosted the summit, and this is a chance for everyone to discuss ways forward from everything from fisheries to petroleum.