- Public Education and Resources
Te Mana o te Wai-hine
Celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week 12-18 Mahuru (September) 2022
At Waiora Aotearoa Water New Zealand we embrace, promote, and celebrate te reo Māori, and in particular the inextricable relationship between Māori and wai.
As part of this year Te wiki o te reo Māori celebrations we have produced a poster that highlights ‘Te mana o te wai-hine’. The intention of this year’s poster is to highlight the important role that wāhine (women) have in Te Ao Māori to ensure the sustained flow of the life-giving waters. For it is wāhine who uphold the mana of water, they are the carriers of birth waters, the givers of life, and the kaitiaki of wai.
The poster personifies some of the many Atua that protect, look after, and empower the transition of water within Te hurihanga wai (the water cycle). The cycle begins high above the sky with the great expanse of waters from Wainuiātea, flowing to the rain clouds of Hine te Kapua, where the sacred teardrop Hine te Ihorangi and the roimata ua (rain) of Hine wai decend to Papatūānuku, our earth mother. She soaks up some of these life-giving waters as rongoa (medicine) and sustenance, infiltrating deep into the whenua (land) to heal her wairua, her wounds and her wellbeing. Her remaining waters meander like toto (blood) through her arteries and veins distributing the life-giving waters from upper mountains of Hine tū pari maunga, guided by Parawhenuamea through the flows of Hine wairere across the floodplains to the creeks, streams, and rivers to what is left of the wetlands of Hine te repo prior to discharging to the receiving embrace of the oceans and seas of Hine Moana. In between it all, is the mist and fog of Hine pūkohurangi, the clutching condensation of Hine wai-tōtā, and the vapour carried back to the sky by Hine wai-etoeto. It is these Atua that ensure the connection and relationship of waionuku (the waters of land) and waiorangi (waters of the the sky) is maintained.
Wai is taonga tuku iho, a treasured and sacred gift passed down from the Atua to us. We must acknowledge and respect the mana of these powerful Atua, these powerful wāhine by protecting and looking after te mauri me te mana o te wai. Tū wai-Hine! Tū mana!
Please feel free to print, download and share this poster.