Kāore te kumara e kōrero ana mo tona ake reka
The kūmara doesn't speak of its own sweetness
Mahinga Kai - “Hei tuitui te tangata ki a Rangi me Papa”
Associate Professor of Horticulture at Massey University Nick Roskruge is no stranger to his whenua and the workings of a healthy and strong mahinga kai. Well equipped with mātauranga passed down to him by his tīpuna and trained as an Agronomist and Ethnobotanist; an expert in the science of soil management and crop production. Roskruge is a strong advocate for using both mātaurnga Māori and science to produce and maintain healthy seed for planting seasons year after year.
Roskruge, Chair of Tahuri Whenua partnered with Massey University School of Agriculture and Environment and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to undertake field work in the biosecurity of traditional Māori crops and cropping systems. Furthermore, Te Pūnaha Hihiko assisted Roskruge and his team in supporting the need for growing and encouraging Māori farmers to step up to the challenge to champion the revitalisation and sustainability of the practice of mahinga kai.
Roskruge notes that it is important that this mahi follows the tikanga and maramataka practices of the recognised hapū or iwi of where the mahi is undertaken. Therefore ensuring cultural needs and obligations such as manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga and mana whenua are upheld and not lost for future generations.
"This mahi is all about relationships, relationships with the taiao, people, and science groups to ensure the continuation of traditional practice is maintained".
Nā Nick Roskruge