Kotahitanga mō te Taiao


Working As One for Our Environment

For centuries, the Māori people lived undisturbed in Aotearoa* New Zealand’s epic lands, rivers and coastlines. They exercised kaitiakitanga—an intricate cultural system founded on the belief that all people are guardians of nature, not mere consumers of its bounty. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect and maintain the natural world for future generations. This Indigenous world view guided how fish were caught, crops were planted, land was preserved and wildlife was protected.

Based on this philosophy and acknowledging that conservation can go faster alone but further together, 15 partners came together to form the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance, meaning “Collective Action for Our Nature.” The Alliance aims to get the best possible conservation outcomes for people and nature on New Zealand’s South Island.

The Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance brings together Top of the South Councils, iwi and the Department of Conservation (DOC) to work together towards restoring natural landscapes.

Nelson City Council joins Buller, Tasman, Marlborough and Kaikōura Councils, the West Coast Regional Council, a number of iwi and DOC as members of Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance.

Global conservation organisation The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is supporting the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance to provide funding, science, global expertise, financial tools and a commitment to engaging diverse stakeholders around common goals. TNC Conservation director Carl McGuinness​  said that "TNC is pleased we can support local Iwi and communities in achieving their aspirations for conservation through the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance". 


The Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Strategy, which guides the Alliance on where and how to work, was launched in Nelson on Friday 28 June 2021. You can read about the launch here

You can download a copy of the strategy here