The Cultural Significance and Importance of Water Module


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


Half day face to face on 8 March 2021 in Whanganui-a-Tara covering the following:

  • Overview + Whakawhānaungatanga
  • Te Ao Māori
  • Whakapapa o Wai
  • Workshop

Following this, the module will continue as planned with the following zoom sessions:

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Te Mana o te Wai
  • Decision Frameworks
  • Engagement with Māori
  • Empowering your organisation
  • Recap, discussion and questions

  • Your Kaiako (teacher) - Troy Brockbank

    Troy (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) is a civil engineer, a water practitioner, and Pou Ārahi Māori - Māori Advisory Lead (Principal) at Pattle Delamore Partners Ltd.

    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"


    • $800 excl GST ($920 incl GST) (Water New Zealand member)
    • $1000 excl GST ($1150 incl GST) (Non-Water New Zealand member)

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

      If you have any questions please contact Mumtaz Parker at