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Wānanga with north Taranaki iwi

Telling stories from different perspectives — scientific and Māori — provides GNS Science with a much greater appreciation of fundamental issues facing our communities.

GNS scientist at wananga. Photo: Kyle Bland

Knowledge-sharing workshops help build relationships with iwi. Photo: Kyle Bland

Our long association with north Taranaki iwi through geological fieldwork resulted in a three-day Te Kura Whenua wānanga (Earth science knowledge-sharing workshop) with two local iwi in March 2019. The wānanga was held at the Pukearuhe Marae with Ngāti Tama and Ngāti Mutunga. 

Over the years we have held several wānanga around New Zealand as a way of building relationships with iwi and giving back to communities who have supported our research efforts. 

Young and old from both iwi attended this wānanga alongside GNS Science staff and interns. It provided an opportunity to kōrero with local iwi, discuss insights regarding the whakapapa of their rohe (local area), and address questions about geological formations. 

We tailored the activities to local interest in seabed mining, characteristics of iron sands, coastal erosion and sea level rise, as well as the geology of the local Mount Messenger and Urenui formations. 

There was a lot of positive feedback from this event which has reinforced our view of the importance of this work.