by NZ CATHOLIC STAFF
Caritas has developed an 80-page guide for teachers in ways to nurture kaitiakitanga (stewardship) of the Warawara Forest in Northland. It is called Te Warawara: Te Wairua o te iwi o te Rarawa.
The guide was written at the request of Te Kura Taumata ō Panguru, a small local area school
in north Hokianga.
This forest has one of the largest kauri stands in New Zealand and is home to many threatened
native species, including North Island kiwi and kaka, bats and karearea (New Zealand falcon).
Dame Whina Cooper described the Warawara as the living spiritual being of the hapu of Te Rarawa, which is the local subtribe.
The guide includes activities, worksheets and lesson plans and is aimed at primary and
secondary school students.
It features worksheets tailored to specific year groupings, meaning the book is instructional
The Warawara Forest is of utmost cultural and historical significance to Te Rarawa.
They still own the land’s resources and it is hoped that through deeper learning about
their tāonga-treasures, the next generation will not only see how important it is for them to
serve as guardians and protectors of the Warawara Forest, but also how their efforts will
support the community in ways that will lead to future employment opportunities.
“This is another strand of the life story of the Warawara that reaches back for centuries, it is a life line for the forest,” the resource’s author and Caritas Social Justice Education Coordinator, Catherine Gibbs said.