Kaitiakitanga Program and Network
History and Overview - Kaitiakitanga Program
The first inspiration for this was a television program in April 2003 which outlined the difficulty the Queen was having killing bears to take their skins for the hats her guards wear. At this time many of our people were very concerned by the destruction possums and other pests cause in the Whirinaki Forest.
Our senior class did a SWOT analysis mind-map (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) which suggested that possum skins could perhaps help solve both the Queen's and the Forest's problems, as well as opening up enterprise opportunities for our largely unemployed rural community. It was also a great school project that would reinforce and develop our teacher, student and community skills in many of the curriculum areas. (science, maths, economics, enterprise, technology, teamwork, communications, language, Te Reo, history etc)
In May 2003 the Whaingaroa Environmental Group in Raglan, used our Tipu Ake ki te Ora leadership model to help them re-focus their volunteer organisation. Their koha in return to us was a lot of ideas which widened the scope of our project. When we lost two of our senior kaumatua [elders] and the wisdom they carried in 2003, we realised that Kaitiakitanga was as much about gathering in and guarding our own culture as well as the forest itself. We have discovered that there are many people in organisations in New Zealand and all around the world that see great merit in the principles of Kaitiakitanga (Safe guarding the future) and Tipu Ake ki te Ora (Growing the future) that our ancestors passed on to us. Many are prepared to support us with our project.
Kaitiakitanga Enterprises was an application that our Te Whaiti School submitted on 4th July 2003 to the Industry NZ, Enterprise Culture & Skills Development Fund (round 3). This was to help our community learn how to build a strong future for itself. Our vision for this was very clear:
guarding and harvesting the lifeforce of Whirinaki Forest and its people"
For this application we received enthusiastic letters of support from a number of partner organisations who are stakeholders in our program. A condition of this application was that we had to have a private co-funding partner. Some important seed funding and a lot of time contribution by Strategic Expertise Ltd, a management development company run by an ex pupil of our school, together with koha (help) from many other external contributors allowed us to immediately get into the project and do some innovative things, overcoming delays and the political issues involved in finalising and signing up other funding sources.
In Dec 2003 we were notified that our project would receive ECSD funding, subject to review of our program roadmap budget and other details. Our vision for the program is very clear and its broad scope is described by the opportunities in our project list , though not all these will be active at any time and only a small number will receive ECSD funding.
To get things started, our senior class used the Whirinaki as the theme for the bilingual web site that we submitted for the 2003 schools web challenge ( We got 3rd place in the Intermediate school section)
Late approval to merge the two schools and retain both sites in our valley for 2004, together with extending classes to level 10, has resulted in much work that has held back some or our planned Kaitiakitanga activities. Despite this we have made progress with gathering much external support, working with DOC, getting involved with the permaculture project a local family has established on their land close to the school, established a prototype Whirinaki web site cluster to integrate all information about the valley, established library resources and done some Iwi research in partnership with our Kaumatua[elders] and the Ngati Whare Runanga and our partners.
We have had tertiary students from AUT and elsewhere working informally with some of us to help develop the website design, multimedia, filming and editing skills that we will need for all our project work. We had an American visitor at our school recently who wanted to help and donated us Apple Computers to help us get us into video and graphics production thanks. We are developing the skills we need to establish a website development / video / multimedia enterprise in our valley, when broadband finally gets through to us. If you are a specialist in this area and have a passion for the environment and the future, then please consider contributing as a volunteer, offering equipment or funds to help us in a very positive sustainability project.
The skills building we are doing will allow the whole community to participate in some of the interesting project activities planned for 2005. We expect a lot of new skills and some valuable enterprises will arise from them.
We are establishing a kaitiakitanga library collection at our school and on this website under the resource tab you will see links to a growing range of international sites we have found that you too can use on your projects. We also thank AUT for establishing the Tipu Ake Collection in their Library to which international and local authors have donated books on organisational development and sustainability.
We have a number of external partners very keen to support us with this project. Our fast growing international web network includes David Bellamy the TV botanist who was involved with saving our forest Whirinaki from milling. See his Aotearoa Video
In Feb - April 2004 we had a French physicist, conservationist, Natural Step enthusiast, presenter and writer from Quebec staying with us to learn more about Tipu Ake (which she has translated into French) and to research and write about the meaning of Kaitiakitanga and how it relates to sustainability. She is sharing her research and knowledge with us and the one million / month French visitors who visit the L'Agora website she writes for. She is has returned in 2005 to write a book on the environment and sustainability which will include her Kiwi experiences and learnings.
We have established networks that connect us to international and local organisations including: other iwi /sustainability/experiential tourism groups in Aotearoa, indigenous peoples, education philosophy, sustainability, environmental restoration, leadership, community building, organisational leadership and management and government community development initiatives. We use field trips, conferences and other opportunities to share what we have and learn from the experiences of others. These networks provide valuable resources that help support each other's local activities.
On March 19-20-21 2004 another Tipu Ake Leadership Retreat was held on Murumurunga marae where the theme was Kaitiakitanga. (click for details). We had 4 international visitors and 14 others from around NZ all sharing freely with our local people.
On 2nd May 2004, a Community meeting of Kaumatua and many others decided that the Kaitiakitanga program is about growing on the learning and wisdom that our ancestors established in our valley around 1000 years ago. It will be rooted on the Marae working in a close partnership with our Kura, our Minginui Kokiri and Health Centre, our Ngati Whare Runanga and embracing The Minginui Council, Whanau Support and all organisations and families in our valley. For the remainder of 2004/05 our Kura is dedicated to completing its merge and the Ngati Whare Community to its treaty negotiations, so much of our initial activity will focus around Minginui village enterprises and the forest.
We thank Waana Davis and Hinurewa Te Hau from NZ Trade and Enterprise for supporting us in strengthening our kaupapa at our overnight hui on 26-27 May 2004. Waana reminded us to root our program in our own traditional values and on the whenua (earth), then all the other things would just grow from that.
On 6-10 June 2004 Earl Rewi, James Goldsmith and Claude August attended the Sharing Indigenous Wisdom Conference in Wisconsin USA where they shared our Tipu Ake Leadership Model, formed networks with new friends (including Lopez Island pictured) and gathered many new ideas to help our program. In October we presented Tipu Ake and Kaitiakitanga at the Sustainable Resources Conference in Boulder and at the Project Management Institute Global Forum in Anaheim making more important connections.
On 23-26 June 2004 3 Staff and 20 Students from the UNITEC Architecture School, Maori Design and Appropriate Technologies Group arrived to help us do a concept plan for our village. They checked out the hall, housing and resources in the village, did surveys and returned with plans for the community to finalise, then we all got down to making them happen by starting on some building renovations. The old Forestry Headquarters compound was selected for the nursery location and they started help us renovate one building as the Whirinaki (Enterprise / Learning / Visitor etc) Centre. These projects temporarily move the program focus to Minginui Village coordinated by The Minginui Village Council , avoiding the current overload at the Kura (Merge rebuilding priorities) and and Iwi ( Treaty Negotiations priorities) . Our thanks to our Marae Committees, the Minginui Council and the Whanau Support team who helped the enthusiastic staff and students from UNITEC. On 28th October they washed up their assignments, leaving us with the the makings of a new Whirinaki Enterprise Centre and a Nursery and plans and skills to continue to rebuild some of our community facilities largely using our own resources. Thanks a lot to our UNITEC Friends.
We have clear vision, a list of projects, a program roadmap and a structure in place for the organisation we need to grow a future for our iwi in our valley and beyond. We are using our own Tipu Ake processes to organically lead and prioritise our projects. Our Budget shows how we intend to allocate and manage our external ECSD funding for the program. Our Ngati Whare Runanga and community continues to provide support for many of the social and new enterprise projects that will make it happen. These may be established as volunteer, marae based, trust, sole trader, partnership or company structures or may be done in partnership with other organisations or government departments eg DOC, Housing Corp.
T he main
he mainprojectsWhirinaki Nursery*,
We thank the team of IT students at AUT for doing more work in March June 05 on the structure and functionality of our Whirinaki Websites, so we can better share what we are doing and our knowledge with others. (In May 2005 we had around 30 people per day visiting the Kaitiakitanga site and around 70 per day downloading the Tipu Ake model)
Our community was invited to send a delegation to the Indigenous Knowledges conference held at Victoria University in Wellington on 22-25 June 05. We are very honoured to be able to welcome indigenous visitors from around the world to stay on Murumurunga Marae on 19-20 June on their hikoi to the conference. It was be good to return some of the hospitality our people have received overseas and learn from their experiences.
During August 2005 we had a unique opportunity to present seminars and workshops Tipu Ake - Tools for Growing Living Organisations in New York, London, Helsinki, Paris, London, Wales and San Francisco, which were well received. In addition to growing much international interest, In NZ many government, community, education and commercial project people are beginning to pick up, understand and apply the power of Tipu Ake ki te Ora as a result of attending workshops. In return this is resulting in some koha starting to flow into our kura to for development and future scholarship purposes.
Looking back over 2005, we can see a lot of things that have been achieved with the merging and rebuilding at our kura, the progress our Runanga has made with Treaty Negotiations, the work that has gone on with house maintenance and painting in our village, toxin hazards and village services, getting broadband access to our community, Whanau Support youth activities ( tramping, taiaha), planning for our proposed Community Centre and our ongoing Marae development projects. All this has strained our limited resources, so with our limited resources s"the time has not been right" for some of our other planned project opportunities.
2005 was a also an important year for the species recovery activity (see Kaka, Kiwi, Weka, Robin) that our community members are doing with DOC. These pages are now the most popular ones on our Kaitiakitanga site, so we assume that lots of other children around the world may be using them for school projects. (In April 2006 we had 529 people view our Kaka page)
In July 2006 we arranged national forums and welcomed Hunter Lovins an international authority and promoter of Sustainable Development here on a marae retreat to share her knowledge with us and to learn more about Kaitiakitanga. Click here for free VIDEO resources
More work by AUT IT students an 2006 and 2007 has resulted in a robust structure for our Whirinaki Rainforest Community Web Portal www.whirinaki.org.nz that houses our 6 main websites, giving us what may be amongst the best web presence of any small community of our size in the world. We applied in Nov 2006 for Digital Strategy - Community Partnership funding to help establish our Whirinaki Interactive operation, but the government component was not awarded so we continue with this using our own resources).
In March 2007, our Community commenced it's water supply upgrade project.
We did plan to run a Tipu Ake marae retreat on 30Mar - 1 Apr 2007 but our visitors changed their plans so we leave these links for your research. We had reconnected with our friends from Lopez Island, Washington who attended a retreat in 2004 and were visited by some of our community in 2004. They offered to share what they have learnt about community land trusts, affordable housing, zero energy sustainable buildings and rural development on their island. They were to be joined by Andree Mathieu and also Randall Stensness from Hokianga Harbourcare (who has just returned from the Kaitiakitanga / Kiwi Youth Voice Learning Journey to the US) to reflect on workshops they recently attended run by Fritjof Capra, Jeanette Armstrong and others at the Centre for Ecoliteracy in San Francisco.
In Oct 2008 our network was privileged to be able to facilitate a Maori Youth Hikoi to the Bioneers conference in San Francisco
We thank MfE for taking responsibility for the Toxin Cleanup in our valley. With the asbestos roofs replaced in the compound in late 2007, we hoped to resurrect the suspended Whirinaki Nursery and Whirinaki Enterprise Centre projects, but have been advised by NZTE that our Kaitiakitanga funding to do this has expired. We question the validity of this withdrawal and other government agency issues and opportunities to remove roadblocks around Minginui and allow us to grow as a vibrant community.
In January 2009 the Minginui Community put together a fast track application for the MfE Sustainable Development Fund to kick start some Whirinaki Catchment Restoration projects to help establish a sustainable operation intheir place, creating positive work and opportunities for local people. Regretably, for administrative / governance reasons, the Ngati Whare Trust that has overall responsibility of the village was not able to submit it in the short timeframe available.
In Sept 2009 we look forwad to the Whirinaki 25 year Celebrations with David Bellamy
NOTICES AND ACHIEVEMENTS:
Our gift to you - download Free Whirinaki Matariki Wall Calendar
What Andree a sustainability writer discovered about Kaitiakitanga
Papakainga Development - Matekuare Whanau Project underway
Please note that this site is under development. It is a prototype to help design its structure, content and navigation. An * in a menu is used to show a future function that is currently not yet available. We are working to establish a multimedia organisation in our community to carry out ongoing development. (Our students at Te Kura Toitu o Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi were awarded third place in the 2003 NZ school web challenge). feedback please to temporary webmaster: