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  • Repo (wetlands) are rich in biodiversity. They are the ‘in between’ places that connect the water with the land, providing habitats for native plants, invertebrates, fish and birds.

    Repo are also rich in Māori cultural practices, providing mahinga kai, medicinal plants for rongoā, material for weaving, a reservoir for mātauranga and more.

    As iwi and hapū, landcare groups and others work to restore repo, it is important to consider both the ecological and cultural connections.

    Interactive image map on Aotearoa New Zealand Wetland ecosystem connections.

    Wetland ecosystem connections

    View ecosystem connections with a te ao Māori perspective.

    Select here to view the full transcript and copyright information.

    In this activity, students use a local wetland to explore environmental factors and explore cultural perspectives using the Ake Ake model.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • identify a few of the key species in a local wetland or a wetland of interest
    • identify some of the characteristics of the wetland that support or influence these species
    • look for species’ connections across wetland, dry land and open-water habitats
    • consider cultural perspectives and connections with wetlands.

    Download the Word file (see link below).

    Related content

    The article Population biology explains how abiotic and biotic factors influence animal and plant populations.

    This article explores the customary harvesting of Aotearoa native species and asks if it can be sustainable.

    Explore mahinga kai – the value of natural resources – plants, birds, fish and other resources that sustain life, including the life of people.

    Useful links

    This article provides more in-depth information about the Ake Ake model: The Ake Ake model – forever and ever by Yvonne Taura (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Uenuku, Ngāti Tūwharetoa), Lorraine Dixon (Ngāti Whaawhaakia) and Miriama Turner (Ngāti Amaru).

    Pūniu Inc has information about wetlands’ strong cultural and ecological connections.

    Rights: Crown Copyright

    The Voice of the Wetlands

    The handbook Te Reo o Te Repo – The Voice of the Wetland forms the basis of the collection of resources funded by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and MBIE’s Unlocking Curious Minds initiative.

      Published 19 November 2020 Referencing Hub articles
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