Mananui Ramsden's mountain is Te Ahu Pātiki (Mount Herbert), his river is Koukourārata, his hapū is Kāti Huikai and his tribe is Ngāi Tahu. He is the world's first ever council-appointed advisor on indigenous land management.
For hundreds of years, Māori have strategically tended, harvested and protected food resources around Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) in Canterbury. As kaitohutohu tikanga whenua (cultural land management advisor), Mananui’s role involves educating the people who own and work on the 350 farms in the Selwyn Waihora water zone about these indigenous conservation practices—mahinga kai values—such as the protection of water quality and Māori archaeological sites.
Ramsden hopes his work with Environment Canterbury's conservation strategy for Te Waihora will demonstrate to other regions how indigenous voices can be incorporated into resource management and even become a template.
"Imagine what we would be able to achieve if everyone had a greater understanding as to where tangata whenua (Māori people of the area) are actually coming from. Because once that's achieved, I've seen nothing but great strength and really beautiful friendships with the farming communities.”