Cultural Significance and Importance of Wai

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’

Feedback from a cultural module participant

"I completed the inaugural session of the Cultural Significance and Importance of Wai module provided by Water New Zealand between March and May 2021. Our Kaiako (Troy Brockbank) was very knowledgeable about the subject matter. He was able to provide useful references and examples making it easy to apply learning outcomes to my own work setting. I enjoyed the collaborative learning environment including a wide variety of guest speakers and open discussion. I have already recommended the module to colleagues."