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  • In this activity, students explore Māori perspectives concerning estuaries.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • explain how a Māori legend can show aspects of Māori thinking and living in early settlement of New Zealand.
    • recognise some Māori words for common items found in an estuary
    • explain the concept of kaitiakitanga in simple terms
    • describe why people value estuaries from a Māori and non-Māori perspective.


    Apanui Skipper and Weno Iti describe what kaitiakitanga means to them. As tangata whenua, they both have a strong sense of kaitiakitanga.

    Select here to view the video transcript.

    Download the Word file (see below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • items found in estuaries
    • Māori name cards.

    Related content

    The article Estuaries – a context for learning has links to resources that cover biological and ecological functions, cultural and economic aspects, geological and geographical features and human impacts on estuaries.

    Glossary of kupu Māori mō te ara o Hinekirikiri (Māori words associated with the intertidal zone) is also available in download as a PDF.

    Useful link

    Te Ara's Mātaitai – shellfish gathering provides an overview of traditional kaimoana harvesting.

      Published 12 June 2017 Referencing Hub articles
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