Te Aomihia Walker

Tonganui Scholarship Recipient 2021

Te Aomihia (Ngāti Porou)attended a six-month residency in Iceland as part of UNESCO’s GRÓ Fisheries Training programme between 2021-22. While abroad, Te Aomihia completed a research project that focused on a policy in fisheries called “landing and discards” – what fishers can return to the port and land, and what they must return to the ocean.

Te Aomihia examined the activity through an indigenous lens known as ‘etuaptmumk’ or ‘two-eyed seeing’ and developed key principles for developing landings and discard policies utilising both western knowledge of conventional fisheries management and mātauranga Māori equally.

“What we need to do is promote and strengthen tino rangatiratanga for our iwi, hape and whānau within policy and resource management. From that, we’ll be able to see the huge benefit that the Māori world view, customs and knowledge,” Te Aomihia says. 

As part of her experience Te Aomihia took part in a panel that explored indigenous guardianship, addressing climate change and biodiversity. She hopes that through her fellowship, she has helped open the door for other indigenous people, and played a role in growing international awareness of indigenous perspectives and approaches to the moana.