Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Wai Ora Wai Māori app launched

Developing a deeper understanding of the state of Māori natural food and traditional resources was the drive behind the creation of the Wai Ora Wai app.

Kairangahau Māori Kiri Reihana shows off the Wai Ora Wai Māori app, a kaupapa Māori assessment tool designed for Ngati Tahu − Ngati Whaoa.

The app was designed as a kaupapa Māori assessment tool for Ngati Tahu–Ngati Whaoa to simplify the involvement and empowerment of iwi in freshwater decision-making. It enables the user to assess the condition of freshwater from a te ao Māori perspective.

Developed and tested in the Waikato, the tool helps whānau to measure progress towards restoring and enhancing the mauri of their mahinga kai. Data collected with Wai Ora will help whānau prioritise activities for restoration and future management programmes.

After a successful release to Ngati Tahu–Ngati Whaoa in December 2017, the framework has now been given to Tapuika iwi, who are customising the tool for their own use.

The app is used to assess the resource condition in relation to human activities and land management practices. It is also being used to measure and assess trends towards specific iwi goals and objectives for resource, taonga species, or a culturally significant area.

Used alongside scientifically based quantitative attributes and measures, the tool provides a robust, holistic, and complementary dataset to inform freshwater management to measure progress towards iwi environmental aspirations.

The app has also become a te reo support tool: in the tutorial, when a word is selected for the rating, it is then translated into Māori.

Iwi are keen to participate actively in the decision-making process when setting limits and regulations to ensure people can continue the traditions and eat the kai of their ancestors. In their role as kaitiaki, Ngati Tahu–Ngati Whaoa want to ensure the mauri of their environment and resources is kept intact. Through respectful management, our environment and mahinga kai will have the ability to sustain themselves and support whānau who gather kai to eat and share with others.