Me Tū ā-Uru

Theme 04

Mana and Rangatiratanga

Authority with care is the fourth theme in our relational framework

Te Hoiere / Pelorus River, Marlborough

Mana refers to authority, handed down through generations, to take action in the world. This is an authority infused with responsibility – to protect and care for people and communities (manaakitanga), and to protect and care for the environment and its taonga (kaitiakitanga). 

In te ao Māori, mana whenua (mana in relation to places) belongs to the hapū or community – they collectively possess authority and corresponding obligations.   

Rangatiratanga is chiefly authority. It is the expression of the community’s mana, through community leadership and guidance. It includes economic, social, political and environmental leadership, and carries with it obligations to secure the community’s interests, to care for its people, and to sustain and nurture collectively held lands and the wider environment.

In environmental governance, recognising mana and rangatiratanga mean providing for tangata whenua to exercise their rights as decision-makers over ancestral lands and taonga; and providing for political processes, governance arrangements, and policies that are mana-enhancing for all concerned.

"Rangatiratanga came with responsibilities to do this for the benefit of present and future generations, and to ensure that waterways were protected for the health of people and the natural environment. Compare that with the “first come, first served” system of the present..."
- Lisa Tumahai

We have guided our action plan with four key themes


Theme 01

Whanaungatanga – Relationships

Whanaungatanga refers to kinship between all people and things – their connections through lines of whakapapa, and their interdependence with each other.

Theme 02

Utu – Balance and Reciprocity

Utu acknowledges the reciprocal nature of all relationships, and the obligation to sustain them in appropriate balance.

Theme 03

Mātauranga – knowledge and ways of seeing

Mātauranga refers to knowledge and understanding – to a way of seeing the world through a lens of kinship, of recognising the reciprocal responsibilities that arise from human-environment relationships.

Theme 04

Mana and Rangatiratanga – authority with care

Mana refers to authority, handed down through generations, to take action in the world.

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Aotearoa’s environmental and social relationships are out of balance. We are facing multiple, inter-related crises including climate change, biodiversity decline, poverty, and homelessness.

What can I do?

Me Tū ā-Uru proposes a new approach which prioritises balanced and healthy relationships between people and te taiao using a relational framework.

News & updates

Me Tū ā-Uru includes themed recommendations for Crown and all of government, Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti.