Māori consider water to be the foundation of all life; it is a valued taonga gifted by our ancestors that provides sustenance and nourishment to communities and enhances hauora Māori (Royal, 2010). For generations, Māori have participated in water-related activities such as fishing, gathering kai, diving, waka and swimming (Karapu et al., 2007). It is through these activities in and around the water that hauora Māori can be enhanced. Despite this positive relationship with water, Water Safety New Zealand (2022) statistics demonstrate high drowning rates for Māori, with the 2021 drowning toll being the highest since 2001.
Te Koronga is a Māori research excellence rōpū that Professor Anne-Marie Jackson and Dr Hauiti Hakopa founded at the University of Otago. The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of Te Koronga. Over the past 10 years, Te Koronga has been successfully supporting and producing excellent Māori researchers. A collective of current Te Koronga tauira, many of whom have contributed to other articles in this issue, have written this concluding article of the Te Koronga MAI Special Issue. We are unapologetically proud to be Te Koronga. Why?