Hauteruruku ki Puketeraki - Connecting to Te Ao Takaroa
Māori have an enduring connection to the ocean and to water based on the genealogy that links Māori to the deity of the ocean, Tangaroa (Wohlers, 1854; Whitcombe, 1898; Graham, G., 1933). As a taonga tuku iho (treasure passed down) connection to the ocean is central to Māori identity and therefore essential to hauora (a Māori perspective of health) (Durie, 1985; Panelli & Tipa, 2007). Despite this intimate connection to the ocean, there are an increasing number of issues such as: environmental degradation (Dick, Stephenson, Kirikiri, Moller & Turner, 2012), over-fishing (McCarthy, Hepburn, Scott, Schweikert, Turner & Moller, 2013) and drowning (Water Safety New Zealand, 2015) that affect the ocean environment. Anecdotally these issues for Māori are based on the lack of connection to the ocean. Hauteruruku ki Puketeraki, a sub-tribal waka (canoe) club based in Karitāne 40km North of Dunedin, that I work alongside, are addressing these disruptions in connection to the ocean. The vision of Hauteruruku is to connect and reconnect all of their members and members of their community with the local awa (river) and moana (ocean) through heritage of ngā waka (canoes) and Te Ao Takaroa (The world of Takaroa) (Flack et al., 2015; Phillips & Mita, 2016; Flack et al., 2016). This research examined Māori connection to the ocean in order to determine the outcomes it has for health in the context of Hauteruruku. Kaupapa Māori Theory and Ngāi Tahu worldview were employed as the methodological frameworks for this study. Seven interviews were conducted with members of Hauteruruku and one external participant. The data was analysed using both inductive and deductive analyses techniques through Kaupapa Māori principles and the pillars of Ngāi Tahutanga. Analytic auto-ethnography was also employed as a tool to use my own knowledge and experiences of Hauteruruku for analysis. Analytic auto-ethnography positions the researcher as a complete member of the social world under study while still demonstrating explicit commitment to theoretical and conceptual analyses (Anderson, 2006). The key findings were that Māori connection to the ocean is a taonga tuku iho that is diverse and unique to individuals, whānau (family) and hapū (sub-tribe). For Hauteruruku this connection is synonymous with identity and is comprised by the concepts of: whakapapa (genealogy); mahinga kai (food gathering sites and practices); kaitiakitanga (guardianship); and mana o te moana (power or prestige of the ocean). Hauora is intimately linked to the environment. Having a connection to and engaging with the ocean regularly is positive for hauora; from a Māori perspective the health of the environment is synonymous with our own health. The elements, which constitute connection to the ocean for Hauteruruku, are directly connected to maintaining and enhancing the health of people and the ocean. Issues that disrupt this connection are: disconnection from culture and identity; access to the ocean; and pollution of ocean environments. Hauteruruku provides a site and a vehicle for others to discover this connection, which is positive for hauora and for the community. This research advances the aspirations of Hauteruruku and can potentially become a tool for other Māori and international indigenous communities.
Advisor: Jackson, Anne-Marie; Hakopa, Hauiti
Degree Name: Master of Physical Education
Degree Discipline: School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Māori; Waka; Ocean; Health
Research Type: Thesis