Podcast 23: Tyne-Marie Nelson: Healing the land through Rongoā Māori and Para Kore

Podcast 23: Tyne-Marie Nelson: Healing the land through Rongoā Māori and Para Kore

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In our eyes, Tyne Nelson is one of New Zealand’s unsung heroes, who has built her life around the principle of working on behalf of Papatūānuku, taking direct actions to heal the land and to be a voice for the whenua (the land), the ngahere (the forest) and the rākau (plants). She’s also passionate about building connections between different communities in order to foster the collaboration we desperately need right now to heal our human and planetary ecosystems.

Tyne is a multi-talented, interdisciplinary human who weaves together loads of different mahi (work). She’s both a student and practitioner of Rongoā Maori, mentored by the legendary Robert McGowan or Pa McGowan (who you’ll hear more about in this podcast). As a contractor, she supports the Hawkes Bay Regional Council to deliver their Predator Free Hawkes Bay programme through working on Maori engagement and community research. She also supports Pa McGowan in his work for Ngā Whenua Rāhui, a funding programme that helps to protect biodiversity and remnant bush on Maori land, while upholding mātauranga maori, tikanga and tino rangtiratanga.

Tyne is also extremely passionate about zero waste. She’s the Hawkes Bay regional kaiārahi for Para Kore, a nationwide waste minimisation programme working to normalise zero waste across Māoridom. Para Kore, which means zero waste in Te Reo Māori, supports marae, kohanga, kura and Māori organisations to work towards zero waste.

In this podcast, you’ll hear lots of Māori kupu or words. We’ve created a glossary here that you can refer to if you get stuck at any point.

Glossary of words in Te Reo Māori (in order of appearance in the podcast)

Pākehā = New Zealanders of European ancestry
Papatūānuku = The Earth or Earth Mother
Te Ao Māori = The Māori world
Whenua = Land
Rongoā Māori = Traditional Māori practices that maintain and/or restore health
Rākau = Trees and plants
Ngahere = The forest or bush
Wairākau = Tonics or infused teas using plants
Whānau Māori = Māori families
Hapū = Sub-tribes or family groupings
Whakaaro = Thought
Whakawhanaungatanga = Making connections and togetherness
Te Reo = Language (typically used when referring to the Māori language)
Kuia = Older woman
Mātauranga = Knowledge
Whakapapa = Genealogy or family tree. Importantly, this includes the lands and waters from
Tikanga = Cultural norms, rules or moral code
Mauri = Life essence
Whakatauki = Proverb
Para = Rubbish
Kai = Food
Taongo pūoro = Māori musical instruments
Waka = Boat
Waka taurua = Twin-hulled canoe
Kaupapa = Theme, programme, project
Tohunga = Spiritual leader or expert in a particular discipline


2 thoughts on “Podcast 23: Tyne-Marie Nelson: Healing the land through Rongoā Māori and Para Kore”

  • Para as undigestable kai poisoning Papatūānuku’s belly was sad and moving ! Kia ora for this insightful kōrero.

    • Ae, we felt the same way about that insight also, Mariana. Very helpful way of understanding and explaining the problem of waste and landfills. Tyne is such a deep and empathetic thinker.

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