The Cultural Significance and Importance of Water Module


*This event is sold out*

The Māori world view (Te Ao Māori) acknowledges the interconnectedness and interrelationship of all living and non-living things. This holistic approach, seeking to understand the whole concept, not just parts of it, is at the core of this module.

You will gain greater cultural awareness, respect and understanding of Te Ao Māori within the water sector and what it means to give effect to Te Mana o te Wai – a concept introduced in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM 2020) and included in the water services legislation.

You will learn about the obligations we have as tāngata (people) to freshwater management, and its relevance for all interconnected water including the three infrastructure waters: drinking water, wastewater and stormwater.

This module is designed to help you deepen your collective understanding of connections and interdependencies of wai (water) through a Te Ao Māori lens.

‘Ka ora te wai, ka ora te whenua, ka ora ngā tāngata’ ‘If the water is healthy, the land is healthy, the people are healthy’.

You’ll learn about

  • Introduction to Te Ao Māori & Stocktake
  • Indigenous worldview
  • Be like Māui / Be like Mahuika
  • Connection with wai
  • Te Mana o te Wai
  • Equity
  • Te Reo
  • Decision Frameworks

Length: ½ day (Wellington) + five (1hr) zoom sessions with special guests.

5 zoom sessions as follows:

  • 13 April 2021 | 6-7 pm - Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • 27 April 2021 | 6-7 pm - Te Mana o te Wai
  • 10 May 2021 | 6-7 pm - Decision Frameworks
  • 18 May 2021 | 6-7 pm - Empowering your organisation
  • 24 May 2021 | 6-7 pm - Recap, discussion and questions

  • Your Kaiako (teacher) - Troy Brockbank

    Troy (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) is a civil engineer, a water practitioner, and Kaitohutohu Matua Taiao/Senior Environmental Consultant at WSP Opus. Troy has more than ten years of professional experience in the water industry across engineering consultancies, civil contractors and suppliers. A key role is to support Māori cultural understanding of water and work alongside the board to link Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Pākehā.
    Troy was the recipient of the 2018 Beca Young Water Professional of the Year Award at the Water New Zealand Conference & Expo and has also been the Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Stormwater Group. Troy has been awarded the Fulton-Downer Silver Medal, which is given to an Emerging Professional in recognition of outstanding achievement within the engineering profession and is a member of the inaugural Taumata Arowai board.
    He is passionate about empowering the water industry to incorporate Māori values and perspectives into our professional capacities, bridging the Māori and engineering worlds and combining the best of both for the protection of water into the future.

    “Wai (Water) is the essence of all life and the world’s most precious resource. It is of high importance to Māori, as it is the life giver of all things, a precious taonga (treasure), part of our whakapapa (genealogy), part of our identity. For Māori, the health of the water is connected to the health of the people. We are one and the same. If the water is unhealthy, we are unhealthy. Ko te wai te ora o ngā mea katoa – Water is the life giver of all things"


    • $920 incl GST (Water New Zealand member)
    • $1150 incl GST (Non-Water New Zealand member)


    Level 6, NZMA House, 26 The Terrace, Wellington

    Interested in finding out more about Water New Zealand membership? Contact Pip Donnelly

    If you have any questions please contact Mumtaz Parker at

      • 31/03/2021
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      • 09:00 - 12:00
      • Wellington, NZ
      • $920.00Members $1,150.00Non Members