Te Reo Rangatahi

Rangatahi voice

Throughout the development of the plan, over 100 rangatahi have provided their voice and input through a series of events and wānanga.

This section has been developed by rangatahi to highlight their unique and critical role in addressing climate change. It identifies strategic actions rangatahi see as vital to ensure we address climate change in a fair way.

Rangatahi have identified the value of ka noho teina te tangata, ka noho tuakana te taiao as a core philosophy that guides our kaupapa and tikanga in this climate space.

Through this foundational philosophy, rangatahi have identified strategic action areas. Find out more about Ngā Mahinga: Our Strategic Agenda.

Drawing of Matua Rereata Makiha surrounded by trees, waterways, waka, kai, whare, and other natural elements.

Kawa: Ka noho teina te tangata

Our generation has a unique and critical role to play in reviving the practices and customs that support transformative change to happen in relation to climate change, building our current and future resilience.

“Ka noho teina te tangata” captures an ancient belief system, articulated through our indigenous creation stories; that Ranginui cohabitated with Papatūānuku. From this union births the natural world and all within, including humanity. This solidifies our co-existence and interdependence with nature.

“Ka noho teina te tangata” affirms the importance of whakapapa as our traditional system that measures our standards of behaviour, sense of belonging and sense of responsibility. This reaffirms and acknowledges the antiquity of te taiao in contrast to the existential infancy of te ira tangata.

“Ka noho teina te tangata” is a whakataukī suggesting, in order of priority, that we must:

  • ka noho – be still, be prepared, be present, be observant
  • teina – actively understand our infancy, be reminded of our position, know our place
  • te tangata – interact accordingly.

As a generation our natural disposition as teina, within the constructs of whānau and society, perfectly positions us to better understand the expectations derived from “ka noho teina te tangata”.

We accept and declare our role and responsibility in climate action and resilience is to restore and protect intergenerational equity.

This calls for urgent transformation and behavioural shifts that ensure governance, decision-making, monitoring, accountability and action must be rangatahi-led, founded in the philosophies of ‘ka noho teina te tangata’. For how we respond to climate change today, determines how future generations are impacted by climate change tomorrow.

Kaupapa: Indigenous Framework

Climate resilience is secured by re-lensing the narrative surrounding climate change. Focusing on these four pou guides our ability to maintain the integrity of "ka noho teina te tangata".


The omnipresent nature of this pou refers to "ngā tohu o te rangi, ngā tohu o te whenua" – the all-encompassing eco-systems that exist within our universe, both celestial and terrestrial.

Manifested as tohu within the environment, whare disciplines our attention to the greatness of nature and provides a means by which we can evaluate the vitality of the tangible ecosystems of kai, wai and whenua.


Wai is a universal connector, which possesses mauri and sustains all forms of life.

Wai depicts the deep connection between the environment, the celestial and the people.

Whilst whenua sustains physically, wai grounds the individual’s identity. The way that we move and connect must be reflective of the ebb and flow of waters across Tāmaki.


Whenua solidifies the physical dependence of each individual to the land, both in our connection to whenua (placenta) as the source of sustenance, and to the earth (whenua) as a source of sustenance.

In ensuring the health and sustenance of our whenua, we safeguard the wellbeing of all ecosystems within.

Whenua manifests in our role of practicing kaitiakitanga.


Kai is the transmitter of systems of sustenance. It allows for the retention of indigenous knowledge which reinforces the inextricable link between interdependent ecosystems.

This affirms our responsibility to ensure sustainable and regenerative food systems, in accordance with geographically local indicators of the land.

Tikanga: Te Nanakia a Māui (innovation waka)

Climate actions today will survive futures when we are capable of changing as fast as change itself. This depends on our ability to ka noho teina te tangata and be haututu (explorers and disruptors).

Te nanakia a Māui refers to the mischievous and adventurous nature of Māui. Spoken throughout Polynesian narratives, Māui is a common ancestor renowned for his trickery, curiosity, self-confidence, resolve and innovative wisdom who, in concern of comforting future generations, altered the climate forever.

According to whakapapa, the sense of innovation derives from ancestors like Māui. Instinctively rangatahi attain te nanakia a Māui and are active disruptors, heretics, radicals, and mavericks. These are qualities vital to leading and transforming climate action.

The innovation waka depends on our collective ability to celebrate and nurture the innate desire of rangatahi to operate at the edge of current thinking, espouse unorthodox views, question existing practice and open new fields of inquiry.

Ultimately, all scales of government and society must contribute to intergenerational equity and the delivery of ka noho teina te tangata, led by rangatahi, as the tool that transforms our praxis of climate action and resilience, shifts us into innovation, and supports us to move in the right direction as quickly as possible.

Our learning, from working together as individuals, organisations, communities and agencies, to develop this framework, has been dependent on our preparedness to actively realise intergenerational equity. As we collectively embark on this journey for climate action and resilience, rangatahi are uncompromising in the philosophies of "ka noho teina te tangata".