Hekeiterangi Broadhurst describes the importance of the river as a source of healing to people who are sick or burdened. She describes her memories of how the river was different when she was young and how she is sad that the river environment has degraded.
Kia pai tā koutou tiaki i te awa. Kia kaua e whakahāwea. Ko te taha wairua, kia mau tonu. Engāri, i ngā wā katoa e haere mātou, āku kaumatua, āku tūpuna, īna māuiui ana, kua haere ki te awa. Ngā mea e toimaha ana, kua haere ki te awa. Ngā mea e māuiui ana, kua haere ki te awa. Nā, ko te taha wairua tērā. I tērā wā, kāre anō te awa nei nā i rite ki tēnei āhuatanga. Koinā taku aroha noa me taku pouri anō hoki te āhuatanga o te taiao inaianei. Kua kore e rite ki te wā o mua. Kua riro katoa te marinotanga o te taiao. Kua tū mai ngā whare miraka, engāri kua ngaro katoa tērā marino ki roto ki te awa nei nā. E titiro ana au ki te awa o Waikato ki Rāhui Pōkeka, e titiro ana au kua kī tonu i te rāpihi.
Look after the river well. Do not belittle. Hold strong to the wairua of the river. In the old days, our elders and ancestors would go to the river when they were sick. When they were troubled and ill, they would go to the river. That is the spiritual side of the river. The state of the river in those days was nothing like it is today. My heart is sad that the environment has changed. The river has lost its purity. There are milk factories and many others that degrade the purity of the river. When I look at the river in Huntly, all I see is waste.
The Waikato Tainui College for Research and Development acknowledges the financial support given by the Waikato River Cleanup Trust Fund which is administered by the Waikato River Authority.
The Waikato River Cleanup Trust does not necessarily endorse or support the content of the publication in any way.