Ensure sustainable futures: Intergenerational reciprocity

Kaitiakitanga is expressed as guardianship to ensure a sustainable future for all. This value focuses on those areas that are important to ensure that the distinctive identity of Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau is sustained and enhanced, and that Māori are able to live as Māori.

There is no ‘one’ Māori view on how Kaitiakitanga is expressed. But there are many common concepts and values of Te Ao Māori, such as mana, whakapapa of people to the environment, knowledge (mātauranga), spiritual beliefs, customary practices, and use of resources in a sustainable way. These world views and practices maintain and support the wellbeing of the environment and the wellbeing of Iwi, hapū and whānau.

At a glance: Kaitiakitanga in Tāmaki Makaurau

Kaitiakitanga can also be applied to the economy and economic development. The application of Māori values extends beyond traditional economic approaches by incorporating an intergenerational responsibility to protect, maintain and enhance the spiritual, material and economic wellbeing of people and land.

In relation to skill development and economic opportunities, the increase  in Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau making the most of apprenticeships is encouraging. However, the proportion of Māori school leavers with te reo Māori capability is declining.

The expression of Kaitiakitanga in relation to the environment, as it is more traditionally referred to may need more work. There are proportionately less Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau involved in iwi/hapū environmental planning and decision making, compared with other regions.

Take a look at headline Kaitiakitanga indicators for Tāmaki Makaurau across the four pou below. You can also download the full Kaitiakitanga report and read about this value in more detail.

Kaitiakitanga and the cultural pou

Kaitiakitanga, in an arts and cultural context, is a way of caring for objects and cultural heritage in a manner deemed appropriate and correct from the standpoint of Māori. It also includes ensuring that te reo Māori is future-proofed.

The proportion of Māori school leavers being taught in Māori-medium across Aotearoa is increasing – but decreasing in Tāmaki Makaurau

Source: Ministry of Education, Māori language in schooling. By ethnicity. Māori-medium is where students are taught all or some curriculum subjects in the Māori language for at least 51% of the time.

Sustaining Māori cultural wellbeing includes transfer of knowledge and experience of tikanga, mātauranga Māori, and te reo Māori to upcoming generations.

The proportion of Year 11 and 12 Māori school students participating in Māori-medium language learning is very small. Over the last 15 years, participation in Māori medium language learning in Tāmaki Makaurau decreased from a high of 5.3% in 2007 to a low of 3.1% in 2018.

Almost 50 Māori school leavers from Māngere-Ōtāhuhu were learning in Māori immersion environments, and almost all Māori school leavers in Waitakere Ranges were learning in Māori-medium.

Kaitiakitanga and the social pou

For the social pou, Kaitiakitanga focuses on the sustainability of whānau wellbeing – the way that whānau are being cared for. Māori wellbeing is whānau wellbeing.

Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau hold similar views as Māori across Aotearoa as to whether whānau are doing better this year compared to last year

Source: Stats NZ, Te Kupenga. By ethnicity or descent

Whānau wellbeing is important – for individuals and for Tāmaki and Aotearoa as a whole.

Whānau provide a space for raising children, caring for family members, and intergenerational transmission of culture, te reo Māori, values and knowledge.

The wellbeing of Tāmaki Māori is fundamentally linked to the wellbeing of whānau.

There was no change in whānau wellbeing between 2013 and 2018 for Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Kaitiakitanga and the economic pou

Kaitiakitanga is often used in relation to efforts to protect the environment, however Kaitiakitanga also means an intergenerational responsibility to protect, maintain and enhance the spiritual, material and economic wellbeing of taonga, people and land.

Mainstream economics can benefit from viewing economic development and the wider economy with a Te Ao Māori lens, where the emphasis is on growing and nurturing economic sustainability for the collective good.

The number of Māori apprenticeships in Tāmaki Makaurau is growing

Source: Ministry of Education, industry training statistics (customised). By ethnicity

Through practicing the principles of Kaitiakitanga in business environments, organisations can build and strenghten their knowledge and relationships through collective learning and mentoring relationships.

One practical way in which organisations can pass on knowledge is through apprenticeships.

Most Māori apprenticeships in Tāmaki Makaurau are in the construction-related sectors.

Kaitiakitanga and the environment pou

Māori believe that there is a deep, reciprocal relationship between humans and the natural world. All life is connected. Ensuring that the environment is thriving in a sustainable way is at the core of Kaitiakitanga.

Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau are less likely to be involved in iwi or hapū environmental planning or decision-making

Source: Stats NZ, Te Kupenga (customised). By ethnicity or descent.

For Māori to engage effectively in environmental management and decision-making processes, sufficient resources and support should be in place. Iwi and hāpū management plans are critical planning documents that give voice to iwi priorities and aspirations. 

Proportionately less Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau reported being involved in iwi and hāpū environmental planning and decision making, compared with Māori across Aotearoa and particularly with Māori in Northland.

It is unclear whether this is due to lack of capacity or capability, lack of support or reflective of engagement with iwi and hāpū. Most Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau are Mataawaka, and have the lowest rates of iwi registration in Aotearoa.

The Kaitiakitanga Report

In the Kaitiakitanga Report, we discuss how Kaitiakitanga can be applied to the economy and economic approaches by incorporating an intergenerational responsibility to protect, maintain and enhance the spiritual, material and economic wellbeing of taonga.

Download and read the Kaitiakitanga Report below:

The Kaitiakitanga Report