He korowai o Matainaka / The cloak of Matainaka: Traditional ecological knowledge in climate change adaptation – Te Wai Pounamu, New Zealand
- Kāti Huirapa; School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Ko ngā mahinga kai o ngā whenua puta noa i whakaingoatia, kia mōhio tōtika ai he aha ēnei taonga, kei hea, ā, nā wai. Ka tuituia ēnei ingoa ki nga tātai mātauranga taiao, hei whakarangatira ia iwi, ia hapū, ia whānau hoki. I ara ake tēnei tuhituhinga mai tētahi mahi rangahau mo ngā wāhi mahi īnaka o Kāi Tahu i ngā tau kua pahure. Ko te awa o Waikōuaiti, o roto o te rohe o te Rūnaka o Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki, te wāhi i mahia ai tēnei mahi. Na rātou ngā kōrero, me te mōhiotanga e pā ana ki te īnaka; ka tiritiria ki to te mātauranga Pākeha, kia kitea ai mehemea he hua ka puta mai hei tiaki i ngā kōhanga o te inaka mo āke tonu atu.
In the New Zealand landscape, the mahika kai sites (resource gathering areas) are marked through place names, which act as central reference points (whai take) for a wider ecosystem catchment area and indicate changes over time. The traditional ecological knowledge, awakened through place names, informs and influences the way Māori realise cultural, social, environmental, and economic aspirations and practices (past and present). This paper will draw from a research project in Te Wai Pounamu (South Island), New Zealand that utilises traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) surrounding the place name, Matainaka, which indicate places where Kāi Tahu (South Island Māori tribal group) gathered whitebait (īnaka, Galaxias maculatus): an important fresh water species. A major focus of the research project is the knowledge around socio-cultural tipping points that will impact directly on the future cultural, social and economic sustainability within a specific catchment location, the Waikōuaiti River. The river has spawning and fishing sites for the īnaka mahika kai and comes under the mana whenua (recognised traditional authority) of the Māori tribal group, Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki. Traditional ecological knowledge kōrero (speech) explains the importance of Matainaka and its contribution to the surrounding catchment area, and – in contemporary times – works alongside that of scientific knowledge. The project merged TEK and science to find ways to improve future planning and adaptation for habitat restoration and modification, and to lessen impacts on īnaka spawning sites from the expected impacts of climate change.