The Watchful Ones
We are the watchful ones
Our name, Te Tira Whakamātaki, means “the watchful ones”, a name gifted to us by Matua Kevin Prime in 2016. We are an Indigenous, Māori environmental not-for-profit based in Te Waipounamu (South Island) of Aotearoa New Zealand.
With te ao Māori at the heart of our work, we aim to ensure Māori communities, and Indigenous peoples, have access to information, advice and training that supports and enhances their environmental aspirations, helps restore balance to our natural world, and re-establishes a reciprocal relationship with Papatūānuku (Mother Earth), embedded in our ancestor’s knowledge of the environment, our Indigenous philosophies, and science.
Te Tira Whakamātaki is home to the biosecurity technicians for the National Iwi Chairs Forum and the home of the Māori Biosecurity Network, the International Indigenous Youth Network and Tikanga a Rangahau, The Māori Ethics Committee.
Ngā Taura Ki a Papatūānuku
and Ethics Committee
International Youth Network
Ā Mātou Mahi
Our work contributes to our vision of a world where Indigenous peoples & solutions are valued in the fight to protect nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on earth.
We have four broad areas of work.
We conduct and support research that benefits the environment and our Māori and Indigenous communities. This includes contract work.
We work to develop environmental capability and capacity expertise for the protection and restoration of our natural world (taiao).
We build a network of kaitiaki across Aotearoa and support agencies to engage appropriately with Māori and Indigenous peoples in the environmental system.
We create spaces and places for sharing ideas, shifting systems, and mobilising communities and individuals committed to decolonizing the environmental system.
Ō Mātou Tāngata
Our team of biosecurity technicians, kaitiaki, kaumatua, kuia, tohunga, Māori researchers and policymakers are woven through our communities, committed to our Mother Earth through Indigenous-led knowledge systems.
Pictured left to right, Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, Dr Amanda Black and Dr Nick Waipara
Ā Mātou Whanonga Pono
Te Tira Whakamātaki is a values-based organisation.
Our work is guided by the values set by our Kāhui Rangatira.
Acknowledging and elevating Māori experts, kaitiaki, knowledge, tikanga in environmental spaces.
Upholding the mana of everything and everyone with kindness, generosity, respect, decolonisation, and equitable practices.
Fostering reciprocal relationships built on the intention of strengthening connections, especially between people and the taiao.
Asserting Māori rights, sovereignty, and law in everything we do.
Acting on our responsibility and right to care for and protect the taiao.