Guardianship of Papatuanuku
Managing the environment is crucial to a Maori world view. All natural resources, all life, come from Papatuanuku (Mother Earth), therefore these resources do not belong to man, rather, man belongs to the Earth.As humans we have an instinctive sense of connectedness with other living beings in this world. It is in our biological make up because essentially what is made of the Universe is made of us also. Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) grows from this Universal bond which builds internal awareness, opens our senses, and fuels our energies so that our physical, mental and spiritual well-being benefit. Our bodies intrinsically respond to the rhythms of the natural world enriching our entire being and Soul. The more we grow, understand and dedicate our powers to the natural world, the greater the enhancement of peace, joy, satisfaction and spiritual connectedness we achieve. That is why as human beings, it is in our best interest to reduce our ecological footprint and to do more to care and protect the earth and her natural resources.
(Excerpt from NIU - He Tangata Matauhi, Voices of our Ancestors) Papatuanuku is the foundation. She is the earth, the whenua (land), the mother of all things. She is the body in which we draw our sustenance from. She is crucial to our existence.