HE ARA WAIORA: TE TAIAO AND TE IRA TANGATA
He Ara Waiora is a tikanga-based framework for considering waiora (wellbeing), developed by Ngā Pūkenga (an expert group of Māori thought leaders) with the support of the Treasury. He Ara Waiora takes a te ao Māori and uniquely New Zealand approach to assessing wellbeing.
He Ara Waiora demonstrates the interrelationship of the elements of waiora, as depicted by the takarangi (connecting spiral pattern) that is overlaid on the framework. The 'means' (kotahitanga, tikanga, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, tiakitanga) are the tikanga values or principles that help us to achieve the 'ends' of wairua (spirit), Te Taiao (the natural world - the environment), and Te Ira Tangata (the human domain).
While the principles in He Ara Waiora are derived from mātauranga Māori, the framework is relevant to lifting the intergenerational wellbeing of all New Zealanders. The Government is committed to embedding He Ara Waiora in our decision making, including for Budget 2023.
Te Taiao (the natural world) is at the centre of He Ara Waiora, reflecting the environment's centrality to a te ao Māori perspective on wellbeing. The natural world's value runs deeper than the benefits that humans yield from it. But the proximity of Te Taiao and Te Ira Tangata in He Ara Waiora also illustrates the importance of the natural world to human wellbeing.
Biodiversity is a key indicator of Te Taiao. Invasive species (eg, stoats, possums, and rats) are a threat to native plants and animals, and are responsible for most of the estimated 26.6 million native bird egg and chick losses every year. This lost link to Tupuārangi (plants and animals, including birds) diminishes our connection to the environments in which we live, as well as our sense of identity and mana. The Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2020 sets out the Government's plan to meet these challenges.
Climate change also poses a major threat to Te Taiao. Sea level rise, a warmer climate, and more frequent extreme weather events present serious threats to our natural world. The Government's platform for Māori Climate Action will make it easier for Māori communities to engage with the Government's mitigation and adaptation work and contribute a tikanga-based perspective.