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State Of Emergency On The Health Of Our Oceans

In mid December, Māori from across Aotearoa gathered on Aotea Great Barrier Island to declare a state of emergency on the health of our oceans. “Mauri o te Moana”, a group focussed on giving voice to this issue, was established from this gathering. There was a unanimous call to halt the systematic destruction of our oceans.

With the recent announcement from the Government to declare a climate emergency in Aotearoa, we, Mauri o te Moana, are asserting our rangatiratanga to demand an immediate change on how we, as a nation, interact with our ocean.

We are at a tipping point.

The oceans are the lungs of the earth and our biggest carbon sink. Kelly Klink Ngāti Rehua Ngāti Wai ki Aotea says, “There is no more time for tinkering. Urgent transformational action is needed to reverse the damage caused by human exploitation of this eco-system and the lungs of our earth. The evidence is clear and has taught us that when we reduce human impact the floor of the ocean can and will revive”.

We call on the New Zealand government, and local and regional councils, to halt further exploitation and wanton destruction of our waterways. We can no longer afford to use the oceans as our dumping grounds for human waste. We must put a stop to over-fishing and ocean pollution.

Bianca Ranson, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngāpuhi says, “We have witnessed what has happened to our ocean over the last few decades: the memories of clear water, shells and birdlife on the beach and an abundance of kaimoana – those days are gone. We now see sedimentation, and a sparsity of marine life. Mauri o te Moana is growing into an extensive network throughout Aotearoa. We will support the voice and action of Māori working directly to protect the mauri of the moana and those who are asserting their rangatiratanga within their rohe. We will not stop fighting for the protection of our oceans until it is free of dredging, dumping, extraction, over- fishing, the desecration of traditional fishing grounds and pollution.”

We are now calling on you to join us in this movement to demand an immediate change on how we, as a nation, interact with our oceans. 3-7 Feb, Kāretu Marae, Te Tai Tokerau. To register please email mauriotemoana@gmail.com

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