For centuries the awa has provided physical and spiritual sustenance
for iwi living along its banks.
This precious gift will live on at Te Awa Lakes, through offering homes, work opportunities and greater wellbeing.

The awa has provided many sources of kai, including tuna (eel), inanga (whitebait), kōura (freshwater crayfish), kanae (mullet), waterfowl, and wild vegetables harvested from the river and associated swamps and tributaries.

Marae along the awa have always supplied the tables of their hui with bounty from the river. Mana is, to an extent, reliant on this ability.

The awa has also provided sustenance and prosperity through trading activity. Its waters, including its tributaries, were a primary route of waka before and after the arrival of pakeha, facilitating commerce and communication. The river also enabled alliances to be forged and maintained.

The river has long been used for healing illnesses, cleansing the dead, baptising new-borns, and other forms of spiritual cleansing. The spirits of ancestors are believed to mingle
with the waters of the awa. Waikato people still gather to rejuvenate their spirits by patting the river surface to invoke the ancestors and sprinkling themselves with the water while facing the rising sun.

Health and wellbeing will be paramount in the design of
Te Awa Lakes, through ensuring all have access to the waters
of the river and its considerable powers.

The river has its own life force or mauri, this being the life force that enables people living close by to flourish. This life force will be evident at Te Awa Lakes.

This was recognised in October 2020, when Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana Paki and Tangata Whenua Working Group buried a mauri stone on site as rededication of the land that will support Te Awa Lakes.

A Whakatauki was also gifted to Te Awa Lakes which is
“Te Mauri o Te Awa, Karanga Ra“. This references the surrounding ranges; “Within the line of sight of Taupiri, the Hakarimata and Mangaharakeke Pa lies Te Awa Lakes; we greet and call you”.

Restoring and protecting the health and well-being of the Waikato River

The Waikato River Authority is cogovernance organisation between the Crown and Waikato -Tainui to advocate on behalf of the Waikato River and Waipā River.

The Authority’s purpose is to set the primary direction through Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato (Vision & Strategy) to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River and Waipā River.

Their vision is for a future where a healthy Waikato River sustains abundant life and prosperous communities who,
in turn, are all responsible for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River, and all it embraces,
for generations to come.

Te Awa Lakes will be consistent with this vision and
will promote the outcomes of Te Ture Whaimana o Te
awa o Waikato.

Stay in the loop on the journey to your best life.

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