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  • This collection investigates the restoration of the lower half of the Waikato River. Kaitiaki are working to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the river.

    This resource provides explanations of the key terms encountered when exploring Tōku Awa Koiora.

    Te mana o te awa

    This Māori phrase refers to the significance or importance of the Waikato River to the people. It includes the spiritual authority, protective power and prestige of the river.

    Mana whakahaere

    A Māori phrase referring to the authority that Waikato-Tainui and other Waikato River iwi have over the Waikato River based on their connection to the river.


    A person, group or being that acts as a carer, guardian, protector and conserver. Kaitiakitanga is the concept of guardianship or protection.


    A Māori word for a set of rules that are passed down from tūpuna (ancestors) and given to others as a basis for respecting the environment.


    Genealogy – a line of descent from ancestors down to the present day. Whakapapa links people to all other living things and to the earth and the sky.


    Literally means ‘people’ or ‘nations’ and can be translated as ‘tribe’. It forms the largest social unit in Māori society.


    A subtribe or clan. It is the basic political unit within Māori society. Iwi are made up of hapū.


    Restoration is the return of something to a former owner, place or condition. Many environmental projects in New Zealand are about restoration – returning ecosystems or habitats to an earlier condition of good health.


    A community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the non-living components of their environment.

    Cultural indicators

    Environmental changes that occur over time from a cultural perspective, for example, the decline of tuna (eels) is noticed by iwi because they eat tuna.

    Health indicators

    Environmental changes that indicate a change of health to the environment (similar to cultural indicators).


    An ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant or other type of organism.


    All the different kinds of living organisms within a given area.

    Cultural significance

    Things of importance to a particular culture, which may relate to the values and beliefs of that culture.

      Published 19 March 2014 Referencing Hub articles
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