Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Ihowhenua
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Te Ihowhenua - the connection between people and the earth
Our name in te reo Māori is derived from an important tikanga (custom). The identity it suggests, speaks of the pivotal relationship between people and the earth (Papatūānuku). Traditionally, it has been common to bury or return the placenta (whenua) of a newborn child to Papatūānuku, thereby connecting the child with the land (also 'whenua'). This practice is known as iho whenua and is central to the concept of being tangata whenua (people of the land). For us as a Department of Geography, the name Te Ihowhenua symbolises our focus on the interwoven human and physical processes that together constitute the environment.
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