Moana’s Magical Ocean
Our oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface and over 70% of our planet’s oxygen is produced by the ocean. Oceans drive our climate, rainfall, replenish our lakes and rivers which, in turn, drain back into the sea. Our wetlands work like the kidneys of our land and act as a natural filter by removing harmful substances and pollution before entering waterways.
New Zealand’s coastline borders the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest ocean and contains around 25,000 islands.
65% of us Kiwis live within five kilometres of the sea as we have 15,000 km of coastline. We are responsible for marine waters that extend 200 nautical miles beyond our shores. We have one of the largest exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in the world. Yet only a tiny fraction of our marine environment has any protection. A third of New Zealand's land mass is protected in parks and reserves, but our marine reserves cover just 0.48 percent of our oceans.
Almost half of the world’s whales and dolphin visit or live in New Zealand waters — from Hector and Māui dolphins to the largest animal / mammal in the world, the blue whale.
Aotearoa is also the seabird capital of the world. Of the 360 seabird species found worldwide, 86 breed in New Zealand, including 38 which breed nowhere else.
Māori are the indigenous kaitiaki (guardians) of New Zealand and are spiritually connected with moana (oceans) and its species. Te Ao Māori, the moana is inextricably linked with identity, well-being, and prosperity. Māori relationship with the sea also has practical elements that benefit us all, including rāhui (bans), to restrict harvest to allow species to replenish.
Tangaroa is the Māori god of the sea. Tangaroa is the son of Ranginui (the sky father) and Papatūānuku (the earth mother).
We are blessed to be surrounded by waitai (sea water) and this is my inspiration behind the Moana’s magical ocean series, and the marvellous creatures within in it.