Water: New Zealand Applies Māori Philosophy to 21st-Century Challenges

Aotearoa New Zealand is taking a radical approach to water management — based on Māori principles that prioritize the health of water above all other needs

For centuries the traditional western approach has been to drain the swamp, push the river into a pipe, and build on top of it. If the value of water was considered at all, it was its ability to transport waste
Liam Foster, WSP
Māori people view water as integral to their being, flowing through them and the land like blood. It has its own life-force, or mauri, which must be respected and protected
Kumeroa Pihama, WSP
img-landscape-Terraced landscaping tkaro-Avon river

Terraced landscaping along the Ōtākaro-Avon river in Christchurch, New Zealand. After a devastating earthquake in 2011, a new waterfront was created as an anchor project for the city's recovery. Photo: Liam Foster

img-landscape-New Zealand longfin eels

New Zealand longfin eels live in the Ōtākaro-Avon River in Christchurch. They usually hunt for food at night, but they have become accustomed to being fed by people from the Avon Terraces during the day. Photo: Liam Foster