Te hā o Tangaroa kia ora ai tāua
The concept of “Te hā o Tangaroa kia ora ai tāua” underpins the work of Te Ohu Kaimoana. This statement means “the breath of Tangaroa sustains us” and refers to the ongoing Māori relationship with Tangaroa – including his breath, rhythm and bounty. Recognising our ongoing interdependent relationship acknowledges the Māori worldview that humanity is descended from Tangaroa and all children of Ranginui and Papatuanuku. We are part of the ongoing cycle of life.
The concept of ‘Te hā o Tangaroa kia ora ai tāua’ is underpinned by whakapapa, tiaki, hauhake and kai. Whakapapa recognises that when Māori (and by extension Te Ohu Kaimoana as an agent of Iwi) are considering policy affecting Tangaroa we are considering matters which affect our tupuna – rather than a thing or an inanimate object.
We recognise that as descendants of Tangaroa, Iwi Māori have the obligation and responsibility to Tiaki – care for our tupuna so that Tangaroa may continue to care and provide for Iwi. Our right and obligation of hauhake (cultivation) is underpinned by our tiaki obligations and responsibilities to Tangaroa. Ultimately our right to kai – to enjoy the benefits of our living relationship with Tangaroa and its contribution to the survival of Māori identity – depends upon our ability to Tiaki Tangaroa in a meaningful way.
Te hā o Tangaroa underpins our purpose, policy principles and leads our kōrero every time we respond to the Government on policy matters. It is important to us that the Government understands the continuing importance of Tangaroa and recognises the tuhonotanga that Māori hold as his uri. All decisions and advice offered by Te Ohu Kaimoana on fisheries is underpinned by this kōrero to ensure the sustainability of Tangaroa’s kete for today and our mokopuna yet to come.