We are all part of the natural world.
Without fresh air, water, seas, fertile soils, forests, animals and plants, we couldn’t survive. Everything has a role to play, and that includes us.
You, your school and your neighbourhood are all part of a bigger ecosystem. Everything is connected – and what we do, does make a difference.
The Big Picture values
These values come from the Māori perspective of the natural world.
- Aroha means ‘love’ but it means a lot more than that. It is about connecting with the environment.
- Manaaki means ‘to look after and to care for’. It is our responsibility to be good kaitiaki/guardians for the natural world.
- Wairua means ‘spirit’. Everything within the Māori world has a spirit. Wairua is about feeling and hearing what is around us in the natural world.
- Tapu means sacred. Every part of the natural world has tapu. Some places have a tapu placed on them if they are sacred or for spiritual reasons.
- Mauri means the life force. All things are united through mauri. The mauri of the natural world has been weakened by pests and habitat destruction, but we can restore mauri by looking after our environment.
- Mana means respect, power, and self worth. Everything has mana within the natural world.
The Big Picture ideas
Everything is connected
Ko au ko te taiao, ko te taiao ko au.
I am the environment, the environment is me.
- The planet is made up of connected systems.
- Everything in an ecosystem has a role to play.
- Changing anything in an ecosystem affects everything else.
The planet’s diversity is critical to our survival
Toitū te marae a Tāne, Toitū te marae a Tangaroa, Toitū te Tangata.
If we care for the resources of the land and the sea, we, the people, will survive.
- The health, well-being, and survival of humans depends on the health, well-being and survival of our planet’s ecosystems.
People are part of the natural world
He nohonga ngātahitanga ahau me te taiāo.
We live as one with our natural world.
- People’s actions can impact negatively and positively on the environment.
- People can make a positive difference to ecosystems.
Aotearoa/New Zealand is a special place because of its many unique species and ecosystems
Kāore he wāhi i kō atu i a Aotearoa me ōna koiora, me ona waahi ahurei.
There is no place in the world like Aotearoa with its special biodiversity and unique ecosystems.
- Many of New Zealand's species and ecosystems are threatened.
- If New Zealand’s unique species die out, they disappear from the planet.
- New Zealand’s natural world is part of who we are as New Zealanders.
The Big Picture video - Bugman, Ruud Kleinpaste takes to the mountains to explore how our health, well-being, and survival depend on the health, well-being and survival of our planet's ecosystems. From the mountains, rivers and forests to the water we drink and the food we eat, everything is connected and everything, from the tiniest of bugs, has a role to play -- including us. For more visit www.doc.govt.nz/bigpicture.
Everyone has a role to play in conservation - video. Find out about the wide range of people who are getting involved and working with the Department of Conservation to look after our special places, plants and animals.
National and regional conservation programmes. DOC supports a range of education programmes that get people involved with and promote conservation.