What Māori place names can tell us

about water safety

With the highest number of drownings in 40 years this summer due to unseasonably warm temperatures enticing more people into the water, this education is more crucial than ever.

Dr Chanel Phillips (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi), a lecturer at the University of Otago who specialises in Māori water safety, says it is crucial iwi and hāpu and their knowledge is implemented in water safety education training.

Phillips’ research looked at how Māori place names can teach people about water safety and the pūrakau (stories) behind these names.

“[Iwi and hapū] have been left out of the sector in so many ways.”

She says one missed opportunity was tangata whenua knowledge not being included in the signage that was recently implemented in Ahimate, a popular swimming hole in Manawatū where multiple people drowned this summer.

Link to article: What Māori place names can tell us about water safety (1news.co.nz)


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