Sharing a Kapu Tī

Cuppa teas and cross-cultural conversations.

The notion of Kapu Tī as expressed here is a metaphor to essentially slow down, sip quietly from your cuppa tea, and take the time to listen, reflect and get to really know each other.

The incorporation of kai (food) as part of the relationship is also deliberate. As part of our tikanga, it is important to take part in the sharing of kai and kōrero to solidify a relationship.

There is a much deeper knowledge and value system related to this, but that is something that you will need to learn yourself from your local tangata whenua partners!

The inclusion of a kaupapa Māori (approach underpinned by Māori values) focused forum is one way of ensuring effective mana whenua contributions to co-planning processes.

Such forums add value to the planning process by providing a space for mana whenua to discuss and debate potential policies and methods that are mātauranga Māori informed (based on Māori values, principles and knowledge) that can contribute to each of the co-planning processes for restoration.

At the same time, a potential kaupapa Māori focused forum would engage with experts and other policy officials (council and iwi/hapū) to help develop robust policies and methods.

Kapu tī on the road – DOC Waikato staff and whānau of Port Waikato discussing aspirations and future goals..

Two Basic Principles for having a good Kapu Tī

1) Initiate kōrero with hau kainga/mana whenua (indigenous people with primary rights and responsibilities over an area) for the right reasons.

Essentially, a good kapu tī comes down to the 'how' and 'why' an approach is made when reaching out to another person or group such as Māori.

Talk to Māori affiliated with a natural resource before a decision needs to be made (the 'how' to approach) and ensure the approach is about building a relationship or partnership (the 'why' to approach).

2) Good things take time; so be patient, and don’t expect everyone to be in the same starting position.

Take the time to drag your kapu tī process out for as long as it needs. Unfortunately, this is a much more difficult task than people might appreciate, primarily because of the historical events that have shaped our country and the way we all have interacted with one another since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and European settlement.

Good partnerships are about recognising each other’s strengths and limitations, developing shared goals and aspirations, and equally bringing something to the table.

Good Kapu Tī processes are, in turn, about identifying what needs to be brought in to enhance the partnership (tools, skills, etc.), and the timeframes required to do that.

Look to Chapter 1. Kapu tī 101 for more information on this approach.

Publication: van Schravendijk-Goodman C (2017). Kapu tī 101 - cuppa teas and cross-cultural conversations. In: Taura Y, van Schravendijk-Goodman C, Clarkson B eds 2017. Te reo o te repo – the voice of the wetland: connections, understandings and learnings for the restoration of our wetlands. Hamilton, New Zealand: Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and Waikato Raupatu River Trust. 13–22 Pp.

Portfolio: Plant Biodiversity & Biosecurity within Ecosystem Resilience

Project: SSIF Resilient Wetlands Project

Project Manager: Dr Beverley Clarkson, plant ecologist

Project Leader: Yvonne Taura, kairangahau Māori

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