Ko wai mātou

Tangaroa Ararau is a research project delivered by Awatea Consulting and Whāia Legal as part of Sustainable Sea’s National Science Challenge. This project explores the fundamental idea of what an oceans-centric governance model could look like, unburdened by existing approaches and constraints as well as recognising and providing for the intent guaranteed to Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

In Aotearoa, our history as navigators, voyagers, explorers and mariners dates back more than a thousand years, to the times of Kupe, Kuramarotini, Huiterangiora, and the Great Captains of the migration waka.

Over generations, keystone concepts emerged to continuously reinforce a synergistic relationship with Tangaroa and everything that influences the wider marine ecosystems. Complex ocean economies developed in step with ecosystem health indicators. This body of knowledge informed traditional management systems that put Tangaroa, the embodiment of the ocean’s health and vitality, at the heart of decision making.

Tangaroa Ararau is exploring the myriad relationships within Aotearoa New Zealand’s Oceans, to reimagine a governance system that places Tangaroa at its heart. Built upon a foundation of tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, it aims to reshape our approach to the oceans, in a uniquely Aotearoa approach.

This potential system will be aspirational and far reaching in its design. And whilst fundamental features of the proposed governance model include Tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti, this potential system will be unique to, and born of, Aotearoa to reflect and connect to all its citizens.

Uhi Tai refers to the ascending tides of Tangaroa. An often-heard phrase in waiata, karakia, and haka. Uhi Tai symbolises the oncoming tides of new perspectives capturing our diverse and complex relationships with the ocean, washing over the entrenched worldview that shaped Aotearoa’s incumbent approach to the ocean.

Tangaroa Ararau, or Tangaroa of the many paths, acknowledges these many braided threads, views and journeys that have led to this moment in time.

Ō mātou tāngata

Beth Tupara-Katene

Awatea Consulting

Horiana Irwin-Easthope

Whāia Legal

Te Pūoho Katene

Awatea Consulting

Te Aomihia Walker

Huriwhenua Consulting

Annelise Samuels

Whāia Legal

Hemi Daly

Whāia Legal

Victoria Fairweather

Mint & Honey

Ngā pūkenga

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have spoken with us and provided their thought leadership and expertise. We have been lucky enough to have kōrero with experts in tikanga, customary fishing, commercial operations, whānau, hapū, policy and legal fields, and the arts. We also acknowledge the invaluable contributions of past research team members. Your insights and support have been instrumental in our journey