Kaitiakitanga and Matariki

Guardianship, stewardship, protection, preservation of taonga.
In Te Ao Māori there lies a deep relationship between humans and the natural world. All life is connected. Everything has a “mauri” or life force.
A stream has a mauri that enables fish and stream life to live. Furthermore, take away or damage the mauri and a whole community could suffer. Finally, as a part of “protection” one of the operating principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, these taonga should be cared for.

Garden to table, Enviroschools, Twin Streams projects and other  programmes are popular in schools and allow us to gain more knowledge and participate in Kaitiakitanga.

Matariki Stars and Kaitiakitanga


The star Waitā is associated with the sea and all the food sources in it.

The star Waitī is associated with fresh water and the food sources nurtured by the waters.

Tupuārangi-everything that grows up in the trees-berries, birds and fruit.

Tupuānuku-everything growing in Papatuānuku.

A perfect way to integrate Matariki and kaitiakitanga is through these whetū and these awesome clips from

 Ngāi tahu (Mahinga kai clips) in the thinglink above.

We are so fortunate to be able to share this information with our ākonga as many of them (and us) would not have this traditional knowledge.
Ngai Tahu’s (Te Waipounamu) vision is to work actively to protect the iwi , ancestral knowledge, language and culture, resources and environment.
After the Ngai Tahu claim was settled the iwi set about to restore their place names and invested time and effort into tribal taonga-histories, whakapapa, environment and traditional knowledge.
The practice of Kaitiakitanga allows New Zealanders to reflect on the notion of kinship with nature, and how this idea might be beneficial to the threatened world.
Please touch the hotspots on the Thinglink above and find out more about these amaing traditional practices.