The change in birdsong told Māori the kauri forest was sick. Closing the Waitākere Ranges with a rāhui slowed the spread of the fatal kauri dieback disease. Now traditional knowledge of soil is rebuilding the forest’s resilience. 

“There’s a colonialistic notion that indigenous knowledge is cute, touristy at best. But it certainly has no value in coming up with solutions that are technical. But that’s where they are wrong.”

Māori are fighting to use traditional knowledge to save kauri from extinction. But in a world where mātauranga Māori is still ignored and undermined, simply using this knowledge is half of the battle. 

Made with support from Aotearoa NZ Science Journalism Fund.

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