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Indigenous solutions
for a better world


Te Tira Whakamātaki is an independent Māori environmental and research not-for-profit, working across Aotearoa New Zealand and the globe to protect and restore our taiao (environment). 

Our name Te Tira Whakamātaki was gifted to us by kaumātua Kevin Prime and Dr Jamie Ataria, as a reminder of our role as the 'watchful ones'.

We work 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). Our ancestor’s knowledge of the environment, our Indigenous philosophies, and science are embedded in our approach and our work. 

Te Tira Whakamātaki is home to the Māori Biosecurity Network, Tikanga a Rangahau: Māori Research and Ethics Council, Ngā Taura ki a Papatūānuku: International Indigenous Youth Network, and the National Iwi Chairs Forums biosecurity technicians. 

Think piece

Defining a pest: can a species be both a pest and a taonga? How worldviews influence pest control thinking and approaches.

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Friday 1st - Tuesday 5th March, 2024

Kura Reo - EOI now closed for March 2024 event
Please register to receive our e-pānui below for updates on further educational opportunities.

TTW are pleased to announce our inaugural kura reo o te taiao will take place in early 2024. We are fortunate to have Tame Malcolm (Te Arawa) and Te Huia Taylor (Ngaati Te Ata, Te Waiariki) as the kaitautoko/kaihāpai as well as confirm the following Kaiako: Professor Rangi Matamua (Tūhoe), Puke Timoti (Tūhoe), and Papa Rereata Makiha (Te Mahurehure, Ngāti Pakau, Te Aupōuri, Te Arawa.) with more to be announced. From beginners to matatau, this kura reo o te taiao will cater all levels. Delivered in the taiao (location to be confirmed) participants will wānanga reo specific to our taiao.

Want to know what TTW did in 2023? Watch below!

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a Rangahau

Māori Research
and Ethics Council

International Indigenous Environmental & Disaster Youth Network

Seed Conservation

Māori Biosecurity

Ā Mātou Mahi
Our Work

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.

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Ō Mātou Tāngata 
Our People

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

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Ā Mātou Whanonga Pono
Our Values

Te Tira Whakamātaki is a values-based organisation.

Our work is guided by the values set by our Kāhui Rangatira. 

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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.

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Fostering reciprocal relationships built on the intention of strengthening connections, especially between people and the taiao. 

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Asserting Māori rights, sovereignty, and law in everything we do.



Acting on our responsibility and right to care for and protect the taiao.

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