'Ko te whanga ko au; Ko au ko te whanga - The Harbour and I; I and the Harbour', is a body work which explores past and present cultural attitudes towards Whakaraupō - Lyttelton Harbour and how people identify themselves with this environment today.
The work began in 2015. Having recently moved from Ōtautahi - Christchurch city, back to the shores of Whakaraupō I began photographing at Rāpaki, a small Māori settlement which sits on the shores of Whakaraupō. The land here is sacred to Māori and has been occupied for over six hundred years by numerous different tribes, the current being Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke of Ngāi Tahu.
In 1997, due to dramatically declining water quality levels of Whakaraupō, the first māitaitai reserve of its kind was established at Rāpaki with hopes it would protect and re-cultivate local kaimoana - seafood. For Ngāti Wheke, Whakaraupō is their principal mahinga kai, meaning it is the principal source for the gathering of food and natural materials. The presence of a healthy mahinga kai is central to Māori culture, identity and relationship with their ancestoral lands.
IN 2016 I continued thew work by photographing in and around the wider communities of Whakaraupo. This work see's me