New Zealand Landscape as Culture: Wai (Water)
In this course, you will learn about New Zealand’s water, or 'wai', and the cultural identities attached to them. We'll explore the lives and identities of Indigenous Māori people who can trace their ancestry to their awa, or river, as well as the European, Pākehā perspectives on water. Discussing how the different cultures interpret and relate to water.
We will delve below the surface to look at the unique geology that has created our watery nation, and the taonga (culturally prized possession) found within these waters. While also investigating the political, cultural and economic dynamics of our waterways.
New Zealand is a bicultural nation, and colonisation by the British in the nineteenth century produced a complex history and competing cultural ideas about landscape. The place of water in European culture led to conflicting beliefs about the ownership and status of water. This has implications today for the management of water resources, and how this can be done to ensure that cultural, economic and environmental imperatives are respected in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Upcoming start dates
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- Virtual Classroom
Who should attend?
Course delivery details
This course is offered through Victoria University of Wellington, a partner institute of EdX.
3-5 hours per week
- Verified Track -$50
- Audit Track - Free
Certification / Credits
What you'll learn
- Indigenous knowledge and narratives about wai or water.
- The geology and formation of rivers and lakes of New Zealand.
- The role of European culture in the colonisation of water.
- Ways in which water is represented in New Zealand art, literature, and national identity.
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