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  • Rights: University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
    Published 19 March 2014 Referencing Hub media

    Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman talks about the similarities between biodiversity and whakapapa from her Māori perspective.


    Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman

    Interconnectedness of biodiversity, I’ll take it from my perspective as a Māori, and you know, I’m a plant ecologist, and ecology is really cool because you talk about the relationships between organisms and how they affect each other in the way they operate and stuff.

    Whakapapa is like that too. People like to say whakapapa is a taxonomy, but I disagree. I think taxonomy is too linear. Whakapapa is horizontal, linear, sideways, around, behind, in front, and it is really about the connection between all of those things. And I like talking about whakapapa when I’m talking about biodiversity because, you know, on your family tree, if someone’s line got cut, all of that attached to that family tree disappears. It’s the same kind of thing with whakapapa, and this is where the interconnectedness with biodiversity comes in. You’ve only got to take one little snip, and you’ve lost that, and that’s why it’s important for us that, when we’re talking about whitebaiting, that we don’t forget the bigger picture, which is about the river and how does this all connect back to the health and wellbeing of the river and the health and wellbeing of our people.

    Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman
    Karyn Okeroa-McCrae
    Timi Manukau
    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.

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