Indigenous concepts, values and knowledge for sustainable development: New Zealand case studies

7th Joint Conference: “Preservation of Ancient Cultures and the Globalization Scenario”. School of Maori and Pacific Development & International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS), India, 22–24 November 2002. Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, University of Waik 11/2002;

ABSTRACT Maori Sustainable Development in Aotearoa-New Zealand is a term reflecting the aspirations of contemporary Maori. It describes holistic development and a strategic direction towards advancement, Maori autonomy, self-determination, the building of human and social capacity, to capitalise on opportunities in the 21 st century. Achievement may be measured through improved Maori wellbeing and standards of health, increased human and social capacity, strength of cultural identity, sustainable management of natural resources, and culturally appropriate strategies for economic growth. Central to this holistic development are Maori values, a strong sense of cultural identity and purpose, and the retention and use of Maori knowledge. This paper provides examples of how Maori are using indigenous approaches, founded on traditional concepts, to respond to increasing pressures and opportunities in a complex world of free market economies, competition, exploitation, privatisation, Westernisation of culture, environmental degradation, and increasing globalisation. Case studies are given on Maori strategic planning, use of Maori knowledge, information technology, and environmental planning and monitoring where indigenous approaches and perspectives are fundamental.

  • Source
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT This study examines the politics of knowledge benefit-sharing within the re-regulatory framework of the Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement which entered into force in 1995 under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The thesis argues that TRIPS both represents a mainstream legal mechanism for states and organisations to govern ideas through trade, and is characterised by a commercial direction away from multilateralism to bilateralism. In its post-implementation phase, this situation has seen the strongest states and corporations consolidate extensive markets in knowledge goods and services. Through analyses of the various levels of international and national governance within the competitive knowledge structure of international political economy (IPE), this study argues that the politicisation of intellectual property has resulted in the dislocation of reciprocity from its normative roots in fairness and trade equity. In conducting this enquiry the research focuses on the political manifestations of intellectual property consistent with long-standing epistemic considerations of reciprocity to test the extent to which the intrinsic public good value of knowledge and its importance to human societies can be reconciled with the privatisation of public forms of knowledge related to discoveries and innovations. This thesis draws on Becker's virtue-theoretic model of reciprocity premised on normative obligations to social life to ground its claim that an absence of substantive reciprocal requirements capable of sustaining equivalent returns and rewards is detrimental, both theoretically and practically, to the intrinsic socio-cultural foundation and public good value of knowledge. The conceptual framework of reciprocity defined and developed in this study challenges the materialist controlling authority and proprietary ownership vested in intellectual property law. A new conceptual approach proposed through reciprocity, and provoked by on-going debates about IP recognition, knowledge protection, access and distribution is advanced to counter strengthened and expanded IPRs. Theories of knowledge and property drawn from political philosophies are employed to test whether reciprocity is sufficiently robust enough, or even capable of, encompassing the gap between capital and applied science. This thesis argues that hyper-capitalism at global, national and local levels, accompanied by the boundless accumulation of technology, closes down competition both compromising IP as private rights and the viability of their governance. The political implications of the protection and enforcement of private rights through IP is examined in two key chapters utilising empirical data in relation to traditional knowledge (TK) and reciprocity; the first sets the parameters of TK and the second explores aspects of Māori knowledge systems and reciprocity directed at identifying national and local issues of significance to the debates on IP governance. As a viable direction for knowledge governance this thesis concludes that the gap between the re-regulatory trade framework of intellectual property on the one hand, and reciprocity on the other, requires closing to ameliorate the detrimental disruptions to democratic integrity, fairness and trade equity for significant numbers of communities and peoples around the world.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This preliminary scoping study investigates areas for possible improvement in the governance and management of large Māori dairy farm businesses. Building on the innovative practices of their tūpuna – including Rawiri Taiwhanga, the country’s first commercial dairy farmer – Māori are defining their own aspirations, realities and goals in the dairy farming world (Durie 1998, 2000). This report outlines these, and their accompanying challenges, as expressed by individuals and collectives currently engaged in Māori Dairy farm businesses. The Māori way of doing business is described in this study as having a ‘Quadruple Bottom Line of Profit, People, Environment and Community’ business objectives.’ More specifically, ‘Māori farms often have an inverted Quadruple Bottom Line. People, Environment and their Community often come before Profit….but without Profit none of it happens.’ Māori strategic plans and business values place emphasis on relationships, responsibilities, reciprocity and respect. These are exemplars of a Māori world-view, which explicitly acknowledges particular historic and cultural contexts (Tapsell and Woods 2010). The strategic management plans of the Māori Farming Trusts illustrate the spiral or matrix of values ‘He korunga o nga tikanga’ envisaged by Nicholson, Hēnare and Woods (2012). They prioritise the development of social capital to create competitive advantage. Such strategic plans reflect Māori vision and aspirations. These are to sustain and grow the land base; to provide leadership and guidance for the whānau; to develop capacity and resources within the Trusts; and to perform better as businesses. Tauhara Moana Maori Demo Farm 4 Māori leaders acknowledge that, “Generally speaking, Māori farming or Māori resources are under-performing” (MPI, Māori Forum June 2013). There is a lacuna of appropriate KPI's, industry-wide, that can be used to benchmark Māori farming operations. Without this benchmarking, Māori farming trusts are ill-equipped to approach their advisers with well-informed questions and ideas. The initiative by the Tūhono Whenua benchmarking project, an online benchmarking tool involving 6 farms from the Te Arawa Primary Sector Collective and Te Taumata, is to be highly commended as a step toward the development of Māori farming trust benchmarks, and for encouraging Māori farmers to benchmark their businesses.Much of this study has related to the farm business management skills of Māori Trust governance and management. There are talented young Māori getting tertiary education, and receiving Trust scholarships to support their higher level education. A knowledge gap has been identified in the area of Farm Business Management. There should be more encouragement of young Māori to seek degree training in Agricultural Science, Agribusiness and especially Farm Business Management. Māori Agribusinesses make considerable investment in the education of young whānau, but to date they have struggled to employ many of their own people in farm businesses. The ‘unique observation’ during this study of a young Māori Farm Supervisor passionately mentoring his staff into dairy farm careers rather than offering them farm jobs suggests a possible mentoring model that could be used to further build Māori social capital capacity. There is every reason for optimism and celebration of Māori dairy farming achievement and success. The top tier of Māori farming trusts are fast growing enterprises which are rapidly improving business performance. Māori are genuine leaders of dairy farm environmental management. Their expertise and governance of large corporate farms has much to offer other farming businesses, and there are real opportunities for these businesses to mentor other farming enterprises. - See more at:

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 29, 2014