Te Hiringa o te Taiao (Kaupae 4) | NZ Certificate in Māori Environment Practices (Level 4)

Study Options

Online, Part-time


1 year


Level 4

Button for easy access to information about this qualification

Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Tangata

Traditionally, Māori believe there is a deep kinship between humans and the natural world. This connection is expressed through kaitiakitanga – a way of managing the environment. Today there is growing interest in kaitiakitanga as iwi restore their environment and their culture.

Māori science is a real thing and there is definitely a māori way of looking at the world. When researching environmental issues it will benefit everyone if we have a shared understanding of what Mātauranga looks like.

Mātauranga Māori draws from and reinforces the holistic connection that Māori have to the land and sea. It embodies our inherent connections to the ecosystem, spiritual beings and other living species we share the land and sea with.

Without a sustainable connection to the land and sea we could potentially lose everything that forms the basis of our individual and collective identities.

The value of this programme lies in the processes you will follow. You will learn to use a māori framework approach to investigating and solving problems. If you are a non-māori this programme will provide you with some tools for meaningfully engaging with Tangata Whenua, if you are Māori then view this process as a validation of your world-view.


As a graduate of this qualification you will understand the value of the mātauranga Taiao approach to caring for the environment and will be able to use your skills and knowledge based on a Tiaki Taiao to work independently to contribute to the future care and development of te Taiao for whānau, hapū, iwi and the community.

You will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders, whānau, hapū, and iwi, and apply strategies to foster whanaungatanga and manage relationships.
  • Explain the significance of important Māori concepts and their use by whānau, hapū and iwi to preserve, nurture, and manage te Taiao as tūrangawaewae.
  • Exercise kaitiakitanga in selected environmental/resource management issues to identify and manage the effects of the issues on whānau, hapū and iwi from local Taiao perspectives.
  • Apply pūkengatanga using both mātauranga Māori and contemporary research and project management methodologies to investigate kaitiakitanga-related opportunities or issues.
  • Exercise rangatiratanga to manage te Taiao in accordance with local tikanga.
  • Act in a manner that is pono me te tika to assess the impact of relevant environmental/resource management legislation on the roles and responsibilities of whānau, hapū and iwi in the management of te Taiao.

Our programme delivery is broken into four parts:

  1. Tūrangawaewae
  2. Kaitiakitanga
  3. Pūkengatanga
  4. Whakawhānaungatanga

The actual process of researching environmental issues in Māori settings is a holistic activity with information from the four parts above interlinked and interwoven. One part informs another, and together they build the picture of how issues are identified and addressed.

The purpose of this qualification is to provide whānau, hapū, iwi, hapori and other entities with graduates who are able to fulfil kaupapa Māori centred environmental roles and associated activities at an intermediate level.

Te iwi Māori and Aotearoa will benefit from having graduates who are able to provide, from an āhuatanga Māori perspective, skills grounded in mātauranga Taiao to protect and enhance te Taiao for current and future generations.


There are various start dates – please contact the Programme Administrator, Erena Clarke on 06 869 0820 or eclarke@eit.ac.nz to find out exact start dates.


Entry requirements

English language entry requirements

Your future career and study opportunities

As a graduate of this certificate you will have the transferable skills and knowledge to contribute to future Taiao development of whānau, hapū, iwi and community and to act effectively across a range of roles including the following:

  • Hapū and Iwi environmental/conservation roles
  • Department of Conservation/Parks/Reserves rangers
  • Nga Whenua Rahui workers
  • Nature guides, conservation/environmental educational roles

Academic learning services

Academic Learning Services is here to assist you on your journey towards the successful completion of your studies at EIT | Te Pūkenga. Our aim is for you to become confident, competent and independent learners.

We have dedicated advisors who can assist with your learning.

Find out more:

Hawke’s Bay Campus
Tairāwhiti Campus


EIT | Te Pūkenga offers a variety of scholarships across various subjects and programme levels.  Some scholarships are based on your age, some are specific to the subject you want to study.  Not all scholarships are based on your academic ability and anyone wanting to study should investigate what scholarships are available to them.  

You can find a list of EIT | Te Pūkenga scholarships here however there are many more scholarships offered nationally.  Information about these is on an database called “givME”. givME is accessible at EIT | Te Pūkenga or at some public libraries. If you would like to come to EIT | Te Pūkenga to look through the giveME database don’t hesitate to contact scholarships@eit.ac.nz or call in for a chat.