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Investing in our culture, identity, and future.

It is the belief of Te Tira Whakamātaki, that Māori must be informed and involved in the storage of taonga seeds, both in where and how they are stored, as well as in deciding what protocols and tikanga are required.

The development of a Māori-owned seed bank and research centre is of utmost importance to our team. That’s because it is about sovereignty for our people and our relations (the plants).  


What is Seed Banking?

The Hub and Spoke Model

Te Tira Whakamātaki's vision for seed banking

Te Tira Whakamātaki envisions using the hub and spoke model to create sustainable and resilient seed banking infrastructure across Aotearoa. Think of a bicycle wheel!


Our short-term goal is to build small scale seed labs across the country and give them out to communities so that they can up skill in seed collection, and store small amounts at place. This comes with training on seed collection and storage. These are the spokes of the wheel.


Long term, we have been busy designing a central seed bank, located in Aotearoa. This one central seed bank, will employ mātauranga and tikanga to ensure careful care of seeds, and would be a unique collection to Aotearoa for major collections.

This model allows for many smaller seed collection sites out in our communities at place, which allows those working on the ground to control and manage their own taonga seeds, upskill locally in environmental management skills, keep seeds at place for when they need them. However, it also enables them to have a major facility to go if they need additional help, storage space, research needs or anything else.


Aotearoa's Seed Banking Infrastructure

We know that individuals, communities, and organisations are already seed banking across Aotearoa. To help us see what is happening in this space, we created this infrastructure map.

This map is crowd-sourced, meaning anyone who is storing seeds can add entries to it. To our knowledge, it is the most comprehensive map of seed banking in the nation.

If you are seed banking, you can add your entry to the map by clicking the button below or by contacting us.


Statements of Expectation for Seed Banking

Te Tira Whakamātaki - December 2023

This document represents TTW’s expectations or principles when seed banking with Māori communities. We do not wish to speak on behalf of all iwi, hapū, and whanau but rather offer our thoughts based on our work in the field. It also outlines several calls to action for the Crown to meet under their Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. It is our intention that this document is used by Māori communities to guide their seed bank endeavors (guidelines that begin to outline best practices in seed banking) while simultaneously informing the Crown of their responsibilities in this area. We begin at the latter by outlining five seed bank calls to action that, if followed, would enable tikanga to become an integral part to seed banking in Aotearoa – New Zealand.

Seed Banking Video Resources

Te Tira Whakamātaki - October 2023

In October 2023 we brought together Māori seed banking experts and hosted them at our offices. Each of the presentations from this seed wānanga were recorded and you can view them below.

Seed Banking Resources

Resources to help you bank seeds

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