Ihumātao - Ashley Tofa, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Ihumātao is a rare cultural heritage landscape in Mangere, Auckland New Zealand. This site is important because for mana whenua (local Māori) this place embodies sources of identity and wellbeing. In the 1860’s more than 400 acres of land were confiscated by the crown. In 2014, this site was designated for special housing development. Archaeological sites such as Ihumātao is crucial for our understanding of the histories in our country. For the past few years, the SOUL (Save Our Unique Landscapes) campaign to #ProtectIhumātao has engaged in non-violent, direct action to raise awareness and build public support. SOUL has worked hard to protect and preserve whenua (land).
Initiatives at Ihumātao such as Kaitiakitanga Day help to bring people together where they are encouraged to connect with the whenua (land) to help them become more self-efficient. Through this relationship, the land will provide.