Te Toi Ōhanga™

The name ‘Te Toi Ōhanga™’ uses the poetic power of the Māori language to describe the existence of a summit or high point in the development of indigenous (Māori) economics. While the Māori word ‘Ōhanga’ is commonly used as a translation for the English words ‘economics, economic and economy’, its significance is often missed. The word ‘Ōhanga’ comes from ‘oha’ as in ‘koha’ (transl. a gift, present, offering, donation or contribution; especially one that assists in maintaining social relationships and carries an obligation of reciprocity). Thus, the indigenous (Māori) economy referred to by the name ‘Te Toi Ohanga’ is distinctly different from a capitalist notion of ‘market economics’. Te Toi Ōhanga may be defined as the expressions of kawa, kaupapa and tikanga that maintain the wellbeing (cf. mana) and survival (cf. mauri) of Te Aho Matua, Te Aho Matua whānau o Rangi rāua ko Papatūānuku in which Papatūānuku (transl. our Earth mother), Ranginui (our Sky father) and Atua (transl. the children of Papatūānuku and
Ranginui) are the kaitiaki (transl. guardians, caretakers) of the various domains of the natural world and Tangata Whenua (transl. Māori communities) are the teina (transl. younger siblings) of what might be described as this whānau Māori ecosystem. This Te Toi Ōhanga website has been created in an effort to provide a voice in New Zealand to a distinctly Māori cultural model of Ōhanga (cf. economics). This website has been created and is maintained by a whānau business. It is our hope that this website will become a pātaka (trans. storehouse) for learnings, korero and resources that will assist Māori communities to reclaim, reframe and re-instate the mana and mauri of Ōhanga Māori (Te Aho Matua, Te Aho Matua whānau o Rangi rāua ko Papatūānuku).

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