Mr Brett Cockeram (Ngai Tahu)
Brett is from the Ngai Tahu tribe in New Zealand, his whakapapa (genealogy) is to Oraka Apirima runaka (Sub-tribe) at the bottom of the south island. Brett is a Science Co-ordinator–Kaitiaki for Te Pane Matua Taiao/Wellington Regional Council. Brett uses his background in hydrological, water quality and ecological monitoring as well as experience in policy and planning processes to work with Iwi groups within the Wellington region to develop partnerships and projects to enable Māori to be involved in resource management. As well as regional scale work Brett is also involved in National level groups including Iwi, other councils, crown research institutes, and central government investigating and developing a strategic approach to enabling and encouraging cultural monitoring.
Brett has a very strong connection to water and spends significant time surfing, fishing, diving and hunting around New Zealand’s unique and breathtaking environment. It is this connection to the environment and water that has driven Brett’s dedication to link Mātauranga Māori and western science to enable a richer and more holistic view of the environment. “ko au te wai, ko te wai ko au” (I am the water, the water is me)