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ARTICLE

Observing clouds and weather

Wayfinder navigators always look for signs of weather at sunrise and sunset. This is when they try to predict the weather for the next 12 hours. One of the easiest ways to predict weather is to ...

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ARTICLE

Revitalising Māori astronomy

Māori ancestors possessed a wealth of astronomical knowledge that they referred to as tātai arorangi. The knowledge was important for many aspects of daily life, from growing crops, fishing and ...

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ARTICLE

Human impact on estuaries

People like to live near estuaries. In pre-European times, estuaries were favourite places for Māori to gather – particularly to harvest and enjoy kaimoana. Today, there are major settlements ...

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ARTICLE

Whakataukī

Whakataukī (proverbs and sayings) are important in Waikato-Tainui oral traditions. They often identify important places or symbols. For example, the following whakataukī helps to identify the ...

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ARTICLE

Longfin eels

The New Zealand longfin eel (Anguilla dieffenbachii) is New Zealand’s only endemic freshwater eel. Our shortfin eel (Anguilla australis) is also found in Australia and some Pacific Islands. We ...

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ARTICLE

Rongoā Māori

Rongoā is the traditional Māori healing system. Rongoā is a holistic practice that often includes using the medicinal properties of New Zealand native plants. Early Māori and rongoā Although ...

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ARTICLE

The star compass – kāpehu whetū

Like the Sun, stars rise in the eastern horizon and set in the western horizon. Navigators who know the direction and position in which the stars rise and set can use the horizon as a compass ...

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ARTICLE

Waka hourua

The ancient craft that carried the first settlers to New Zealand were probably double-hulled – rather like two canoes side by side. They are called waka hourua. In the 1970s, the Polynesians ...

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ARTICLE

Rediscovering traditional Māori navigation

Recently, there has been renewed interest in understanding how Polynesian peoples navigated the Pacific. Teams of people have built waka (canoes) using traditional designs and sailed them long ...

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ARTICLE

Navigating with Sun, Moon and planets

Knowledge about the apparent movement of the Sun, Moon and planets across the celestial sphere is important for wayfinding. You can estimate position and direction by observing, for example ...

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ARTICLE

Pre-European Māori measurement

Due to the geographical isolation of New Zealand, pre-European Māori had little contact with neighbouring islands. Trade and commerce were internally based so there was no need for a precise ...

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ARTICLE

Human impacts on the Waikato River

Human impact has affected the ecology and biodiversity of the Waikato River. Scientists recognise the three key areas of impact that have affected the distribution of native species in the lower ...

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ACTIVITY

Constellations in the night sky

In this activity, students learn about star constellations and that various cultures have their own names and legends about them. They will appreciate that identifying constellations and ...

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ARTICLE

The Waka Tapu voyage

Navigator Jack Thatcher commanded the two waka hourua that sailed from Aotearoa (New Zealand) to Rapanui (Easter Island) and back. Te Aurere and its supporting vessel Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, known ...

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ARTICLE

Taewa (Māori potatoes)

Taewa are traditional potato varieties grown by early Māori settlers in New Zealand. Find out how researchers are now developing unique food products from taewa. Taewa were introduced to New ...

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TEACHER PLD

Resources with Māori content

Teachers often ask what Māori content is available on the Science Learning Hub. We have a wide range of resources including articles, teaching and learning activities and videos. The Hub also has ...

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ARTICLE

Huntly Power Station

Norman Hill (Rāhui Pōkeka iwi) liaises between Genesis Energy and his iwi of Huntly. He has been researching the Waikato River environment in relation to his people for over 7 years. During his ...

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History of the Waikato River

This timeline gives key dates relating to the Waikato River. This timeline was co-authored with Jonathan Kilgour, Research and Projects Manager, Waikato-Tainui College for Research and ...

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Protecting estuaries

Estuaries are extremely valuable. They: are nurseries – breeding grounds for fish and birds maintain the health of coastal fisheries and waters are a buffer between land and sea – protecting the ...

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ARTICLE

Navigating by ocean swells

When clouds hide the celestial signs, navigators use ocean swells, as well as the wind and waves, to determine their direction. Mau Piailug – grandmaster navigator around the Pacific Ocean – once ...

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ARTICLE

Ihumatao – past and present

Mana whenua of the Ihumatao Tucked in between Manukau Harbour and Auckland International Airport is the small papakāinga Ihumatao. The papakāinga is Auckland’s oldest settlement – the remains of ...

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