Hereturikōkā | August 2021

The month of August - Ākuhata - also known as Hereturikōkā or Here o Pipiri - is the time of our maramataka where conditions are optimal for planting and fishing. It is a time for grounding, and to be in close connection with Papatūānuku.

The current national lockdown has grounded most of us, the non-essentials of the motu, in ways that were unanticipated before the previous lockdown. However, the Delta-variant has brought uncertainty and concern—having seen its impact on the international stage.

Experts at improvisation under duress, the NPM secretariat moved swiftly and safely to remote working with relative ease. While primarily Tāmaki- based, the our secretariat and Pou Matarua (Co-Directors) also have mirumiru in Waikato, Rotorua and Te Tairāwhiti.

With tertiary institutions closed for at least a month, our partner entities have focused on delivering online learning to students, with ā-kanohi research and activities suspended for the foreseeable future.

Our focus at NPM has been on ensuring that our staff and researchers are safe and well, and able to maintain balance within their mirumiru given their many commitments and responsibilities. Zui have been essential for keeping us connected but we are also mindful that zui fatigue is real! 

Throughout the pandemic, NPM kairangahau have been active in advocating for COVID-19 vaccination to keep our communities safe.

We know all too well the existing inequities within the healthcare system, the disproportionate disease burden that Māori already carry, and the grave consequences of under-vaccination for our whānau and communities, particularly when the borders re-open.

We know that there are whānau - too many - who are hurting at this time and our thoughts and aroha go out to them. One of our Ruanuku has even become an essential worker and is helping with care packs at the marae. 

Finally, returning to our maramataka, we note the much-anticipated recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (

Climate change impacts and adaptation have been a priority research area for NPM for some time. Our Te Tai Ao platform, led by Dr Shaun Awatere of Manaaki Whenua was built on a diverse range of projects and activities relating to our whenua, wai and climate change.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation remains an important concern for our communities and will be a critical focus for further NPM research especially our environmental relationships and social wellbeing. We look forward to formally launching with an expert webinar panel the innovative research report from our Te Tai Ao research platform - He huringa āhuarangi, he huringa ao: A changing climate, a  changing world. We look forward to sharing more details in due course.

Pou Matarua | Co-Directors 

- Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora 
- Professor Tahu Kukutai 

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Hereturikōkā | August 2021

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