Wai Māori Ngai Māori

Wai Māori Ngai Māori, Pure Water, Pure People, reminds us of the significance of wai and looks deeper into our thinking around water. 

Wai Māori is essential to all life. It is essential to people physically, but is also necessary for all areas of health; environmental, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Furthermore, the wellbeing of te taiao, the environment, is essential for the health of all living beings. 

Wai Māori has its own whakapapa. With the vision to connect people to the whakapapa of water once again, Wai Māori Ngai Māori was born from a concept of connecting traditional knowledge with contemporary settings and looks to utilise our tupuna mātauranga to pave the way for future generations and their decision making around wai. 

“Ko taua wai kei te moana e potere ana. Ka hapai ki te rangi. Ka tau ki runga maunga- Ka heke ki nga riu ki nga awa”.
Wai descends from the heavens, touches the land, flows through the valleys- creeks, rivers to the sea.

Wai Māori Ngai Māori is an approach to inform Māori about ways that they can contribute not only towards their own wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of our taiao and communities. Our interpretation of whakapapa focuses on connection, having an appreciation of where all things relevant to us come from, and how they are interrelated.

Wai Māori Ngai Māori is our vision to tap into new and exciting activities in order to create future opportunities to develop innovation awareness for the ongoing demand to look after our environments.

View the Wai Māori Ngai Māori framework here.

He Mauri

Wai (water) is the most abundant compound and life force covering some 70% of the Earth’s surface. Although essentially tasteless, odourless, and colourless, water is the central source of our being. Because of the unique properties of water it is the great connector to all living things. The water within our body has literally passed through thousands of organisms over millions of years.

 He Tapu

To te iwi Māori, water has always held a significant place and has a divine whakapapa. Water is the only substance we inu (drink), all other liquids are consumed. Water can be both a tapu and a noa substance and can be used to both invoke and lift tapu.

For generations, our ancestors have understood that the purity of our water was intrinsically linked with the vitality of our people. As a food source, a place of bathing, a ceremonial area, and as a source of sustenance, water is essential to life.

Inumia te wai kaukau a ō tātou tupuna. 
Drink from the water of our ancestors.

Fruit Kids (1)

Kia kaua tatou e wareware. E hoa, he wai taua. 
Lest we forget. Oh friend, you and I, we are water

He Mana

Water is essential to life and central to identity. Ko wai koe? From whose waters do you descend? Where are you from? What is your lake, river, or spring? You and I, we are water.

As a source of identity, water is also important. All Māori have a river or a lake that we belong to. When we say ‘ko wai koe?’ we are asking from whose birthing water do you belong?

We are water and water is us.

He Taonga Tuku Iho

Te iwi Māori are the guardians of water in Aotearoa and our vitality is linked to the wellbeing and vitality of water. From a people who drank almost no known beverages, water only, to an environment where sugar and chemical laden drink is the norm. This is harming our people.