Hinemoana Halo

‘Hinemoana ki uta, Hinemoana ki tai’: Restoring our connection to the oceans, from our high seas to our coastal waters


Conservation International Aotearoa, together with Indigenous Māori, are partnering on the Hinemoana Halo Ocean Initiative. This new and vital partnership will provide ocean protection and climate leadership in coordination with Pacific leaders from across the region.

Moana People Rising

“We are the sea, we are the ocean, we must wake up to this ancient truth.”

Epeli Hau’ofa, author of “A New Oceania: Rediscovering our Sea of Islands.”


© Conservation International

For centuries, Indigenous peoples have deeply connected to the moana, or ocean, and recognised that the oceans are a creative force of nature and form the foundation of our blue planet.

Our oceans play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate and can help reduce climate change by storing large amounts of carbon, absorbing approximately a quarter of anthropogenically generated atmospheric carbon.

However, the ocean is warming and rising. Every day Pacific people face unprecedented threats to our way of life. Every day, the mauri, or life force, also becomes increasingly depleted.

Recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and United Nations reports have highlighted how traditional knowledge systems could do more to address climate change than many current approaches. While at the same time, the momentum to ensure the full and equitable inclusion of Indigenous peoples within climate change policy and global leadership continues to increase.




Indigenous peoples of the Pacific continue to enjoy a special relationship with the moana and taonga (keystone) species that sustain us all. This relationship is reflected in traditional songs, chants, prayers, and oral histories. Many sacred artforms, spiritual beliefs and practices also embody this deep connection to the gods of the Ocean, including Hinemoana.



After decades of advocacy, there is growing international support and recognition that promoting the recovery of Indigenous cultures and ocean biodiversity is intimately linked with mitigating the impacts of climate change.

HINEMOANA HALO: An Indigenous-led blue nature market for the Pacific

Conservation International Aotearoa has partnered with the Indigenous people of Aotearoa and the Pacific, along with scientists, economists, and investors to create the Hinemoana Halo Ocean Initiative. The initiative will support groups to utilize traditional ocean customs and practices to protect Aotearoa’s coastal waters and high seas (including the EEZ).

Hinemoana Halo will provide ocean climate leadership in coordination with Māori and Pacific leaders region wide.

Our shared goal is to advance a region-wide movement to reconnect with our common ocean heritage and legacy as kaitiaki (guardians) of the moana. This partnership will establish a marine recovery plan that will accelerate the recovery of populations of taonga (scared) species, from whales to sea lions, dolphins, and manta rays, in Aotearoa’s coastal waters.

Hinemoana Halo will promote self-determination and help Iwi/Māori to protect, care, manage and monitor Aotearoa’s coastal waters and high seas in partnership with local communities, using both traditional approaches and current science.

Hinemoana Halo will involve a sustainable financing mechanism that delivers marine protection and provides direct benefits to Indigenous Māori Tribes, from jobs to infrastructure and opportunities. This initiative will promote inter-indigenous economic relations and trade across Aotearoa and the Pacific.


"Nāku te rourou, nāu te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi."

"With your basket and my basket, we will sustain everyone."

Māori proverb