Article

Mātauranga Māori—the ūkaipō of knowledge in New Zealand

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  • University of Auckland/Waipapa Taumata Rau
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Abstract

Mātauranga Māori spans Māori knowledge, culture, values and world view. Pūrākau and maramataka, forms of mātauranga Māori, comprise knowledge generated using methods and techniques developed independently from other knowledge systems. Hitherto mostly ignored or disregarded by the science community because it seemed to be myth and legend, fantastic and implausible, mātauranga Māori includes knowledge generated using techniques consistent with the scientific method, but explained according to a Māori world view. Acknowledging this extends the history of scientific endeavour back to when Māori arrived in Aotearoa and Te Wai Pounamu, many centuries ago.

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... Whereas personhood in archaeology has most often been conceived as that of humans and connected with the ongoing separation between the individual and the world (Fowler 2004:8), this paper connects with current discussions on how watery places may have been acknowledged as persons. One example of this can be found in Maori lore, which captures waters as living agents (see Hikuroa 2017). In fact, this lore holds that New Zealand's Whanganui River with its wetlands, streams, tributaries and lakes are an 'indivisible and living whole' with personhood, which in turn has entitled it to legal rights (Ruru 2018). ...
... In fact, this lore holds that New Zealand's Whanganui River with its wetlands, streams, tributaries and lakes are an 'indivisible and living whole' with personhood, which in turn has entitled it to legal rights (Ruru 2018). Hikuroa (2017) argues that Maori indigenous knowledge about rivers is based on techniques that are on par with scientific observation methods. While the implications of giving legal rights to animals or rivers or the challenges involved in efforts to speak for nature (Braidotti 2013:76-81 and references therein) are important topics that could be explored further, this paper concentrates on how archae ology and written sources from the past can be used to gain knowledge of similar ontologies and ways of engaging with the environment, which may have been present also in north-western Europe. ...
... Some of these interpretations resonate with stories such as those in the Volsunga Saga, Niebelungenlied and Egil's Saga (Bradley 2017:145-146). I would like to add to this discussion, inspired by Hikuroa (2017), by testing an additional hypothesis; namely, that the practice of depositing may be connected with an acknowledgement that these watery environments were alive with personhood, and that these deposited 'things', such as neck-rings or swords, in fact contributed towards the extension of such personhood, and were directed at watery more-than-human persons or perhaps deities, but as such, more immanently present in this world. I therefore shift the interpretation from mainly dealing with the deposition of the artefacts themselves or the landscape and places, towards an examination of how the water was understood and recognized. ...
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This paper stems from a curiosity about relationships between water, depositions, life, death and sacrifice. It probes into how traditional binaries such as nature/culture, human/animal, alive/dead and language/reality were addressed in Irish medieval place lore, using critical posthumanist theory to explore ways in which agential powers were not merely ascribed to the environment, but also observed and acknowledged by people in the past. It also considers how the agentialities of both artefacts and waters could have affected and made their way into human storytelling. In so doing, the paper presents a contribution from archaeology to the emerging field of environmental humanities, offering research that could entice us to sharpen our environmental sensibilities and respond to environmental change. Depositions of things and bodies in wet contexts are often understood as sacrifices made to deities located in the otherworld. However, there is plentiful evidence in archaeology and in medieval place-lore to suggest that waters were observed as being alive, as immanent beings, as more-than-human persons who could have received these depositions as gifts. This study explores how depositions would have added to and reconfigured such water-personhood in locally and regionally-situated ways, and how they may also have worked as apparatuses for paying close attention to the water environment.
... They (could) have differences in various ways, but interact in several ways to consort efforts, as well as resources, required to tackle issues confronts all of them together. In this process they develop their (indigenous) knowledge to address issues (Ali et al., 2021;Blaser, 2016;Hikuroa, 2017;Setten and Lein, 2019). ...
... Floods are regulated by weather variability, runoff generation processes influenced by vegetation and river dynamics as well as riparian anthropogenic activities (Jacobs et al., 2016c). Such regular and dynamic events are recognized to induce concomitant observations that foster codification in oral traditions, indigenous worldviews, or belief systems (Hikuroa, 2017). Here, it is thus argued that indigenous people can formulate explanations (i.e., know- This region is known for indigenous worldviews and practices related to rivers and natural hazards (including floods). ...
... This, according to various scholars, enables indigenous people to live inseparable from or -at least within the limits of -nature. It is this character that not only enables the attachment to the locale; but also fosters the potential for indigenous theorization on disaster (Hikuroa, 2017;Lane et al., 2011;Reichel and Frömming, 2014;Tran et al., 2009). Moreover, the potential for the systemization of indigenous know-how to produce adapted knowledge is highlighted by several studies, especially on natural hazards which are regular in nature, such as floods. ...
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Scholarly debates on disaster risk reduction have widely highlighted the interest in integrating indigenous knowledge with science to produce hybrid context-specific knowledge to suitably tackle disaster risk. Yet, an epistemological framework to enable hybridization remains a challenge. Focused on the case of floods, this dissertation investigated the (socio-)epistemic nature of indigenous knowledge and developed a framework to guide the best way to integrate it with science. Two key research techniques were used throughout: critical review of scientific literature and policy documents, and empirical analysis through participatory ethnography. Starting with questioning existing literature, the lack of an epistemological framework for knowledge integration is evidenced. The hylomorphic framework is proposed as a suited theoretical framework for integrative science in understanding and tackling disaster risk. This framework is standpoint in nature; it stresses the primacy of two intrinsic elements: the indigenous lived experience of a specific hazard-prone context (i.e., the hyle) and the context-specific risk science (i.e., the morphe). Based on this theoretical framework, three empirical case studies were conducted to structure the processes through which indigenous knowledge on understanding and tackling disasters is produced. The first empirical case study, exemplifying the empiricist constructive approach to understanding natural hazards, shows that locality and weaving into culture hardly stand in the way of indigenous systematization and/or objectivity. The other two add evidence that indigenous knowledge can be trans-local and adapting while being based on lived experiences and open sociocultural deliberations. Then the praxis of incorporating indigenous knowledge was evaluated from the viewpoint of the dominant discourse(s) that inform interventions on disasters. It evidenced that the discourse followed by key stakeholders (e.g., policymakers and scientists) determines whether indigenous knowledge is incorporated. This was further evidenced in the field testing of the hylomorphic framework: skewing the evaluation criteria to the vantage point of communities-at-risk enabled coalescing epistemologies, ontologies, values, and re-politicization. These attributes thus constitute the core epistemic processes of coalescing science and indigenous know-how into a hybrid epistemology of knowledge integration on disaster risk reduction. Based on these attributes, recommendations are made. They encompass science, society, and practice in the context of suitably understanding and reducing disaster risk.
... Mātauranga Māori is the traditional knowledge of Māori, the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand (henceforth Aotearoa-NZ; e.g. Wilkinson et al. 2020), and the expression of that knowledge through language, values, ethics and cultural practices (Mead 2003;Royal 2009;Hikuroa 2017;Paul-Burke et al. 2018). Mātauranga Māori has been developed and refined over approximately 800-1000 years of ancestral occupation in Aotearoa-NZ (Wilmshurst et al. 2008;Broughton and McBreen 2015), thus it is both traditional and contemporary (King et al. 2007). ...
... Core to mātauranga Māori is whakapapathe Māori way of connecting to the world through genealogies (Royal 1992;Forster 2019). Whakapapa links all elements of the natural worldhuman and more-than-human, physical and meta-physicalto each other (Hikuroa 2017) and is a relationally-based methodology for explaining the world and generating new knowledge (Royal 1998;Graham 2009). Whakapapa also informs cultural concepts within Te Ao Māori (the Māori world/worldview) pertaining to understanding and interacting with the surrounding environment, e.g. ...
... However, at times, it was difficult to distinguish between 'human' and 'natural' processes because, in some Te Ao Māori perspectives, humans sit within natural systems (Hikuroa 2017): ...
Article
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Aotearoa New Zealand is characterised by dynamic landscapes. Major landscape-altering events, such as earthquakes, floods, landslides and tsunami, have deeply influenced the relationships that many Māori, the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand, have with their ancestral landscapes. This work documents perspectives of landscape change from five Māori individuals from various iwi (tribes) and hapū (kin groups) around Aotearoa New Zealand, who have strong ties with their tūrangawaewae (place of connection). In exercising the Māori principle of whanaungatanga, we conducted semi-structured interviews following a general inductive approach over a series of meetings. This research indicates that no matter the cause of a landscape-altering event, connections, sustainability, reciprocity and adaptability are core values to uphold. These values can be used to guide human activity and involvement pertaining to responding to the event days, months and years after. This work also indicates that altered landscapes have a natural way of healing themselves through time, and that people play an important role in defining landscape change and recovery following landscape-altering events.
... Floods are regulated by weather variability, runoff generation processes influenced by vegetation and river dynamics, and riparian anthropogenic activities (Jacobs et al., 2016). Such recurrent and dynamic events are recognised as inducing concomitant observations that foster codification in oral traditions, indigenous worldviews, or belief systems (Hikuroa, 2017). It is thus argued that indigenous people can formulate explanations (that is, know-how) of the cascade of and/or processes that lead to floods (Bwambale et al., 2022a). ...
... This, according to various scholars, enables indigenous people to live inseparable from or at least within the limits of nature. It is this character that not only permits attachment to the locale, but also fosters the potential for indigenous theorisation of disaster (Tran et al., 2009;Lane et al., 2011;Reichel and Frömming, 2014;Hikuroa, 2017). Moreover, the potential for systemisation of indigenous know-how to produce adapted knowledge is highlighted by several studies, especially those on natural hazards that are regular in nature, such as floods. ...
... In addition, Bwambale et al. (2022aBwambale et al. ( , 2022b) discovered the capacity of indigenous knowledge to increase understanding of the peculiarities of flood disaster risk, as well as exposing distal drivers of risk neglected by scientific models. These elements are similar to those reported among other indigenous communities, such as the Mātauranga Māori of New Zealand (Hikuroa, 2017;Wilkinson et al., 2020) and the Kankanaey of Philippines (Balay-As, Marlowe, and Gaillard, 2018). In this present study, these and related other aspects are investigated in the context of their foundational and epistemic processes. ...
Article
The role of indigenous knowledge in increasing context specificity and exposing blind spots in scientific understanding is widely evidenced in disaster studies. This paper aims to structure the processes that shape indigenous knowledge production and its optimization using the case of floods. An inductive analytical approach is applied among riparian indigenous communities (focus on the Bayira) of the Rwenzori region of Uganda where plenty of indigenous flood practices have been recorded. Indigenous knowledge of floods is found to be based on intimate comprehension of local hydrometeorological regularities. Insofar as these regularities follow natural dynamics, indigenous socio-epistemic processes are noted to be consistent with the laws of nature. Coupled with regular open sociocultural deliberations, the conceptualization of hydrometeorological regularities induces an indigenous ontology and empiricist epistemology. This, together with the techniques used, is the driver of crucial epistemic virtues which enable indigenous knowledge to provide disaster solutions that are adapted, pragmatic, and holistic.
... The high assessment score given to the MLUOA tool clearly suggests that credible frameworks for Māori decision-making need to have Māori concepts and knowledge embedded from the start. Mātauranga Māori is a knowledge system with its own mana and autonomy and it encompasses Māori knowledge, worldviews, philosophy, values, ethics, and qualitative and quantitative observations Hikuroa 2017), and is underpinned by values. So embedding mātauranga Māori means letting it influence the very construction of the framework, as well as its use. ...
... Māori knowledge and inserting them into a sciencebased framework where they lose their integrity and sense of origin (e.g. Broughton et al. 2015;Hikuroa 2017). Put simply, if research does not reflect Māori realities, it cannot realise the expected outcomes and aspirations of Māori (Durie 2004;Smith 2017). ...
... These interconnected relationships are explained through whakapapa, which can be thought of as the 'practical manifestation of the kinship principle' (Waitangi Tribunal 2011a, 105) and mean that Māori directly connect the mauri (lifeforce, essence, vitality) of the whenua with the health of its people. This deliberate embedding of spirituality, values, and beliefs in knowledge and protocols about creating knowledge through mātauranga Māori contrasts markedly with the science knowledge system and accepted research processes, which for decades have endeavoured to separate values and knowledge (Hikuroa 2017). ...
Article
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Choices about how to use land are critical to efforts to manage water quality in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Māori and non-Māori communities need decision-making frameworks that enable their values and priorities to inform land use choices. However, few of the available frameworks meet the needs of Māori communities. It is challenging to construct decision-making frameworks that have true utility for both Māori and non-Māori land stewards because of differences in their relationships with the whenua (land), the wai (the water) and te taiao (the environment). Additionally, Māori may utilise different types and formats of data in their decision-making from those traditionally encompassed by science-based frameworks. This paper aims to help non-indigenous researchers understand the required development processes and design features if a framework aimed at a broad audience is to have genuine relevance and utility for indigenous users. To achieve this, we utilised a modified version of Cash et al.’s Credibility, Salience and Legitimacy framework to evaluate a range of land use decision-making frameworks. We discuss why science-based concepts of holism are not the same as those embodied by a Māori worldview. We conclude that it is essential to co-develop frameworks in genuine partnership with Māori.
... Mātauranga Māori is a large body of knowledge of Polynesian origin, derived and translated through each generation (Hikuroa, 2017;Mercier, 2018). An interconnected knowledge system incorporating both the observed and learned knowledge, which can be both contemporary and traditional. ...
... This interconnectedness that binds generations to the land with the knowledge that the mātauranga will aid the restoration of highly disturbed or affected areas (Lambert and Mark-Shadbolt, 2021). An integral part of mātauranga Māori is pūrākau, Māori cultural narratives, stories and myths shared through generations as a tool to recall culture, history and knowledge (Henare, 2001) and are deliberately constructed to encapsulate and condense the realities of Atua (gods), the universe and humanity, and ultimately Te Ao Māori (Māori world view) (Hikuroa, 2017). Pūrākau is an embodiment of strong cultural roots that foster growth, learning and development (Henare, 2001). ...
Article
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Current forest biosecurity systems and processes employed in many countries are, in large, constructs of Western principles, values and science knowledge that have been introduced and integrated internationally. They are often devoid of knowledge, and of the values and principles, held by indigenous people, even those who have an intimate and enduring relationship with their forests. Indigenous people are also often overlooked in policy and decision-making processes, yet are often most affected by biosecurity pests and pathogens that impact native plant species that they may rely on for sustenance, cultural or spiritual purposes. By adopting an inclusive approach, scientists and indigenous people can achieve more comprehensive and robust biosecurity outcomes through a shared diversity of knowledge and at the same time serves to elevate and recognise the importance of indigenous knowledge. A co-innovation approach can also result in more widespread adoption of tools or practices by end-users including indigenous people. Understanding New Zealand Māori and their unique knowledge base can help improve forest biosecurity systems and practices, as can discussions of barriers that can and have prevented adoption of inclusiveness. Here we outline key principles behind indigenous engagement, specifically the need to develop enduring relationships.
... What is considered necessary knowledge in one culture may not be valued in another, meaning what is considered 'intelligence' may differ. In te ao Māori (the Māori world), Mātauranga Māori is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of Te Taiao (nature) (Hikuroa, 2017). According to Mead (2003), mātauranga Māori is the term most used to describe Māori knowledge. ...
... According to Mead (2003), mātauranga Māori is the term most used to describe Māori knowledge. Mātauranga Māori incorporates the body of knowledge which originates from tīpuna (ancestors) and includes Māori world views and perspectives, Māori creativity and cultural practices'; the knowledge, comprehension, and understanding of the visible and invisible in the universe (i.e., multiple realities), including present-day, historical, local, and traditional knowledge; systems of knowledge transfer and storage; and Māori goals, aspirations, and issues (Hikuroa, 2017). Western cultures tend to view human intelligence as a way for individuals to devise categories and to engage in rational debate, whereas Eastern 2 cultures view intelligence as a way for the members of a community to play their social roles successfully (Benson, 2003;Nisbett, 2003). ...
Thesis
Spiritual intelligence involves utilising the spiritual, nonmaterial, and transcendent aspects of existence to possess purpose in life and develop a higher degree of consciousness, compassion, and transcendental awareness. Existing research has highlighted the adaptive applications of spiritual intelligence, specifically its relationships with aspects of well-being. However, there is a general paucity of research in the area. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the relationships between spiritual intelligence and aspects of well-being-resilience, depression, anxiety, and stress-among Aotearoa New Zealand university students. Two hundred and fourteen university students enrolled in an Aotearoa New Zealand university completed an online questionnaire that measured their spiritual intelligence, resilience, depression, anxiety, and stress. The current study's findings suggest that spiritual intelligence facilitates reduced experiences of depression and stress and increased resilience. However, spiritual intelligence and anxiety were not statistically significantly associated in this study. Additionally, the relationship between spiritual intelligence scores and combined depression, anxiety, and stress scores were fully mediated by resilience scores. These findings have implications for both university students and the wider society of Aotearoa New Zealand. Given that the poor mental health of university students is detailed both on a global and national scale, an alternative approach to understanding and enhancing well-being is needed. Positing a more holistic approach to well-being allows for an alternative view of intelligence in a world that places much importance on an individual's IQ.
... Thus, the dominant modernist framing of the environment (and 'resources' therein) as disaggregated, decontextualised, and categorised according to use (or activity) has resulted in fragmented and dispersed administration along sectoral lines and a reliance on techno-managerialist tools and technologies (Ahlborg and Nightingale 2022;DePuy et al. 2021;Peters 2020). Indeed, a key criticism levelled at environmental governance is how reductive framings of complex socionatural relations lead to the privileging of some knowledges and values (and people) over others and generate governance frameworks and tools that may be ill-equipped to protect or enhance the environment or fail to acknowledge the relationships between people and nature (Ahlborg and Nightingale 2022;Hikuroa 2016). ...
... There is also an increasing emphasis given to the significance of mātauranga for sustainable management. Mātauranga offers at least two key contributions to EBM governance and the knowledge needed to support just, equitable, and sustainable management: a place-based understanding of environmental change derived from inter-generational observations and transmission of knowledge and a holistic understanding of ecosystems that emphasises relationality and interconnectedness (Hikuroa 2016). ...
Article
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Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a holistic approach to managing marine environments that can potentially reconcile cross-sectoral conflicts, scale mismatches, and fulfil sustainability objectives. In Aotearoa New Zealand (Aotearoa NZ), the operationalisation of EBM has been uneven; however, a set of principles to guide EBM in Aotearoa NZ provides a useful foundation to enable and enhance its uptake and to support governance approaches that attend to the rights, values, interests, and knowledges of Māori, the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa. In acknowledging the need to give attention to the governance of marine environments, we apply insights from the ‘relational turn’ in social sciences and sustainability science to explore the ontological and epistemological broadening of ‘governance’ to identify opportunities for alternative forms of governance that accommodate Indigenous ways of knowing. We propose four pou (or enabling conditions) that generate alternatives to governance models underpinned by a ‘modernist’ (dualistic, technocratic) ontology: (i) enacting interactive administrative arrangements; (ii) diversifying knowledge production; (iii) prioritising equity, justice, and social difference; and (iv) recognising interconnections and interconnectedness. Our analysis of seven governance examples exposes evidence of radical and progressive transformations occurring within Aotearoa NZ regarding conceptions of the environment and the role of people in it that could support the wider uptake of EBM. Rather than advocating a ‘perfect model’ of governance for EBM, we find potential in EBM as a strategic approach to managing marine environments because of the synergies with Indigenous and relational ontologies, which lie in the emphasis on interconnectedness, inclusivity, diversity, and relationality.
... Ahakoa, he hōhonu te hononga o te mātauranga Māori ki te taiao me ōna āhuatanga katoa, kāre anō te ao pūtaiao Pākehā kia āta whakaaro nui mai ki te uara o taua mātauranga (Hikuroa, 2017;Smith, 1999). Hei tā Rereata Makiha, he raru tērā: ...
... Ahakoa he rerekē ēnei mātauranga, mēnā e rua ngā whatu hei titiro, he pai ake te kite whānui. Ko te whakapono o tēnei rangahau, me ruku hōhonu ki ngā mātauranga katoa ki te kimi i ngā hua pai kia ora ai ngā painga o te ngahere (Hikuroa, 2017). Nō reira, ko te whāinga nui o tēnei rangahau he kimi huarahi, kia puta ai ngā hua mō te whakakore i te māuiui o ngā rākau Māori. ...
Article
He taonga tūturu ngā rākau taketake o Aotearoa. Engari, ka matemate haere ētahi o ngā rākau taonga kei te ngahere, nā te ngāngara e kai ana, ko waikura mētera tētahi, ko mate kauri tētahi atu. Nō reira, ko te kaupapa o te tuhinga nei ki te kohikohi i ngā kōrero hei whakamārama atu i ēnei tū māuiuitanga o ngā rākau taketake. Ko te whakatakotoranga e whai ake nei, ka whai i ētahi pou hei kārawarawa i tēnei tuhinga. E whā ēnei pou; tuatahi—ko te whakamārama i te tikanga o te rangahau nei; tuarua—ka āta tirohia ngā mate e rua e ngau ana i te rākau; tuatoru—ka āta tirohia ngā kōrero tawhito mō ngā rākau o te wao, me te pātai, he aha ngā mātauranga Māori hei whāinga mā tātou ki te huarahi o te ora? Ko te tuawhā—ko ngā kitenga whakamutunga.
... Māori people have a resilient and unique culture and body of knowledge that, while based on ancient values and traditions, have adapted and manifested in a range of attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs, including attitudes towards the environment and the economy (Hikuroa, 2017;Maxwell et al., 2020). ...
... Potentially, then, mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) offers a way forward that puts the environment and people (including future generations) at the centre (Hikuroa, 2017). In particular, we point to the positioning of Māori values, including whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga (caring for the community while ensuring long-term stability by caring for resources), as a system that serves collective interests while also honouring Māori rights to ensuring resource protection (Rout et al., 2021). ...
Chapter
Māori, the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand, were formerly colonised by the British from 1840 following the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). Māori remain numerically significant in New Zealand and are the second largest ethnic group after Pākehā (New Zealand Europeans). Pre-colonial, traditional Māori society, through collective economic practice, was balanced to protect whakapapa (geological relationships) and natural resources. This balance was key to survival, and cultural practices evolved to maintain this balance. Despite the ongoing impacts of colonisation since the 1800s, Māori have maintained strong cultural values, which manifest in contemporary approaches to business that strive to balance the interests of future and past generations based on a spiritual connection to the natural world. Conscious capitalism, as envisioned by Mackey and Sisodia (2014), describes higher-order principles that align with Māori approaches to business, but their limitation is articulating the role of spirituality in entrepreneurial activity. This chapter extends Mackey and Sisodia’s higher-order tenets drawing on Māori values, primarily, mana (a supernatural force for status in a person, place, or object) and hau (the practice of reciprocal relations) to articulate how spiritual and cultural values shape contemporary Māori business endeavours. To illustrate, we offer a case study of a Māori business, led by one of the authors, which is grappling with tensions between cultural and commercial imperatives.KeywordsMāoriCultureIndigenousCultural valuesIndigenous business
... The aim here was to engage with local iwi to understand any mātauranga (such as pūrākau, tohu, rongoā, whakapapa) that could inform seagrass restoration. Mātauranga Māori spans Māori knowledge, culture, and world view (Hikuroa 2017). ...
... History on Wakapuaka/Delaware was shared with us through pūrākau from our Ngāti Tama interviewee. Pūrākau is a traditional form of Māori narrative with philosophical thought, tikanga Māori values and world views (Lee 2009;Hikuroa 2017). Pūrākau is sometimes referred to as a story but the idea encompasses a deeper understanding of topics. ...
Technical Report
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An undergraduate summer report summarising research to inform seagrass restoration in Aotearoa
... The starting point of my suggested approach to taking taniwha seriously is the work of earth scientist Daniel Hikuroa (2016Hikuroa ( , 2017Hikuroa ( , 2019. Hikuroa argues that taniwha pūrākau are of on-going practical use, encoding information about, in particular, natural hazards. ...
... Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) might extend the timeline for which we have information about earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters (Hikuroa, 2017). One of Hikuroa's examples (Hikuroa (2016) pp.6-7; see also Evans (2020)) involves the use of taniwha pūrākau in town planning. In 2005, there was massive flood damage in Matatā, on the east coast of Aotearoa's North Island. ...
Article
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Taniwha are powerful water creatures in te ao Māori (the Māori world/worldview). Taniwha sometimes affect public works in Aotearoa New Zealand: for example, consultation between government agencies and tangata whenua (the people of the land) about proposed roading developments sometimes results in the route being moved to avoid the dwelling place of a taniwha. Mainstream media responses have tended to be hostile or mocking, as you might expect, since on the face of it the dominant western scientific worldview has no place for beings like taniwha. However, in the 2020s, there appears to be an increased willingness to engage with te ao Māori . In this spirit, this paper proposes a way for non-Māori to begin to take taniwha more seriously, taking as its starting point the work of Dan Hikuroa on the practical usefulness of taniwha pūrākau (traditional narratives) in encoding information about natural hazards. The focus of this paper is narrow, but aspects of the strategy it proposes may be generalisable both to other aspects of te ao Māori and to other bicultural and multicultural contexts.
... Political and social life revolved around hapū (Waa & Love, 1997;Winiata, 1988). Knowledge, as both process and content for reinforcing the beliefs, values, and practices that sustained life is called mātauranga (Hikuroa, 2017). Mātauranga Māori is a modern term used to express a body of knowledge that has ancient roots and modern usage (Martin & Hazel, 2020). ...
Technical Report
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The Māori marine economy is a view of the oceans and its economic activity, value, and impact that comes from a place of kinship and reciprocity. In a te ao Māori world view, the oceans are an ancestral being – Tangaroa, god of the seas, its currents and its inhabitants – to whom people have kinship rights and obligations and on whom we depend for our survival. The health and well-being of Tangaroa is inextricably linked to the health and well-being of the people. This view is consistent with the aspirational view held by Ko Ngā Moana Whakauka Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge about what a blue economy is. Ko Ngā Moana Whakauka defines a blue economy as one that will generate economic value and contribute positively to ecological, cultural and social wellbeing. This view supports Ngā Moana Whakauka in its mission to “enhance utilisation of our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints… through ecosystem-based management” (Lewis et al, 2020, p5). As a research team, we deliberated on the definition of the Māori marine economy over two days. We concluded that whai rawa, whai mana, whai oranga – the title of the research – captured its essence. What the research set out to do was to elaborate on the Māori marine economy’s historical and contemporary basis. In the research, we found that: • The Māori marine economy traditionally centred around whānau and hapū occupation, use, and management of fishing grounds under the leadership of rangatira, according to tikanga Māori practices of management, sharing and reciprocal exchange. • The mātauranga or knowledge associated with management, protection, and use of the marine environment and its resources that had been refined through generations of experience as tāngata whenua was diminished through the process of colonisation. • Māori ownership and control of the marine economy, its fishing grounds, and other resources, was transferred to non-Māori ownership and control. This change was achieved through legislation and governmental institutions, depriving Māori of the opportunity to sustain themselves economically, socially, and culturally through the marine economy. • The introduction of the quota management system was resisted because it did not recognise Māori rights and interests under the Treaty of Waitangi. The Waitangi Tribunal finding that Māori retained unextinguished ownership of the marine economy forced the government to negotiate with Māori. The subsequent Treaty of Waitangi settlement of Māori fisheries has sought to restore Māori customary fishing rights and facilitate Māori back into the business of fishing, but under the new regime. • Māori ownership of quota is concentrated within iwi and pan-iwi ownership of Moana New Zealand and a 50% stake in Sealord. Māori marine-based enterprises are, nonetheless, investing in recreating and applying kaitiaki-centred business models at whānau, hapū, and iwi scales to provide for the wellbeing and wealth of their communities. An institutional map shows the Māori marine economy has much potential, but it is constrained by regulatory institutions that sit outside direct Māori control and influence. • Consistent with the purpose of Ko Ngā Moana Whakauka, a current research project1 is building on these findings, to examine indigenising the blue economy in Aotearoa at the enterprise level and the political and economic institutions within which the Māori marine economy is governed and managed.
... We can learn from other, more holistic worldviews and geomorphic traditions like those from researchers in the Global South, from Aotearoa and Turtle Island, or from Japan, who all highlight our reciprocal relationships with the land as the starting point for knowledge and understanding. For instance, in Te Ao Māori (the Māori worldview), humans exist in a kinship-based relationship with Te Taiao -the earth, universe, and everything within it (Hikuroa, 2017). People are simply one element in this relational schema, linked with all other life forms through their shared descent from earth mother Papataunuku and sky father Ranginui, whose tears form the rivers (Salmond, 2014;Fox et al., 2017). ...
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The compounding societal and environmental crises of the Anthropocene necessitate a more holistic, critical and systems understanding of our relationship to and with the earth surface. We are now aware that every landscape is touched by man, a mosaic of recorded artifacts of historical human activity. These effects emerge from distinct perspectives that require global, local, and complex frameworks of inquiry. In order to address the braided realities of this age, geomorphologists need to embrace diverse ways of knowing, most especially indigenous, local and place-based knowledges of landscapes and our role in shaping them. We need to examine how a singular, objective standpoint in the scientific process privileges determinism over other ways of seeing and being. In this commentary, I argue that the discipline of geomorphology as it is commonly practiced in the Global North is ill-suited to address the crises of the Anthropocene. In order to reorient the discipline towards a more ethical and. societally-relevant role, we need to seek and integrate place. based, local and situated perspectives into the scientific work of understanding the landscapes we are working in, particularly as so many of the communities most impacted by these changing landscapes are the least involved in guiding our scientific efforts and outcomes.
... Purakau is a term often used to refer to Maōri and tribal narratives, myths and legends (Lee, 2009). The telling and retelling of stories is a critical element of retaining knowledge from the past and transmitting it to successive generations (Rameka, 2011;Rameka, 2012;Hikuroa, 2017;Woodhouse, 2019). Tribal narratives are metaphorical, in nature, in that the telling is fundamental to preserving moral and historical teachings and values. ...
Article
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The history of schooling for Māori has been one of cultural dislocation, deprivation and subjugation. Māori children were viewed as outside the norms of development suffering from “intellectual retardation” which was attributed to disabilities related to acculturation. Traditional western assessment served to further these Eurocentric power ideologies that marginalise non-European peoples and cultures, such as Māori, as backward, inferior and deviant. Kaupapa (philosophical) Māori assessment can be viewed as an assessment approach that is derived from the Māori world, from a Māori epistemological perspective that assumes the normalcy of Māori values, understandings and behaviours. The validity and legitimacy of Māori language, cultural capital, values and knowledge are a given. Kaupapa Māori assessment works to challenge, critique and transform dominant educational perceptions of the Māori child, the nature of learning, pedagogy, and culturally valued learning. This article explores ways that kaupapa Māori assessment builds upon Māori philosophical and epistemological understandings to express Māori understandings of knowledge, knowers and knowings, in order to reclaim, reframe and realise Māori ways of knowing and being within early childhood and assessment theory and practice.
... The interface of mātauranga Māori and science has become increasingly relevant as the Vision Mātauranga policy (VM) is being implemented across a range of research funders 1 in Aotearoa (MoRST 2007). At a practical level the interdis- ciplinary interface provides opportunities for knowledge exchange, innovation, and the creation of both mātauranga Māori and science (Durie 2005;Hudson et al. 2012;Smith et al. 2013;Hikuroa 2016). Mātauranga Māori is gaining a more visible presence within the research environment, as it is being used in an increasing number of practical contexts to support environmental management and ecological restoration (Bernhardt et al. 2011;Uprety et al. 2012;Hudson et al. 2016;Landcare 2016). ...
... T. Smith, 1999). In traditional times, pūrākau were an important element of mātauraka Māori (Māori knowledge), as they were constructed to condense and convey, complex philosophical and moral views of the world, through an easily digestible medium (Hikuroa, 2017). With Māori historically being an oral language, pūrākau was the integral element within their society to capture and communicate important knowledge through the narrative medium (Lee, 2008). ...
Thesis
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This research project is the final component of the Doctor of Professional Practice degree and builds on earlier work established in the year one papers ‘Review of Learning’ and ‘Learning Agreement’. Within these earlier papers, Indigenous Autoethnography and pūrākau (Māori storytelling) were explored as key theoretical concepts; these have been further expanded upon within this final project work. Personal/Professional Identity, Practice Context and Project Kaupapa In my professional life I have been a chef and, for the past 17 years, I have taught culinary arts at Otago Polytechnic primarily teaching on the Bachelor of Culinary Arts programme over the last decade. From an early age I had a passion for cooking which led me to train in the classical French curriculum and to go on to practice as a chef in the field of Haute Cuisine (more commonly referred to as Fine Dining). As a chef and a culinary arts teacher, kai (food) is a natural medium for me to encapsulate my way of seeing and making sense of this world. The pūrākau within this project are about kai and the whenua (land) exploring how my interactions with kai and the whenua are an expression of my cultural identity. Like many others who whakapapa (descend from) to the southern reaches of Te Waipounamu, I am a descendant of an early mixed-race marriage between a Kāi Tahu wahine (women) and a European whaler in the early part of the Nineteenth Century. Through the agendas of the settler colony in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and the actions of cultural assimilation, I have found myself confused as to the validity and legitimacy of my Kāi Tahu identity. This project is an insider’s perspective from a self-labelled “white guy”, as I journey through the process of (re)claiming and (re)positioning my indigenous Kāi Tahu identity within my life. Within this wānaka (learning journey) of self-discovery, I have engaged in a process of sense making and self-healing through cultural restor(y)ing processes. As a story of Kāi Tahu cultural dislocation, it is situated within a wider Kāi Tahu whānui narrative, where the legitimacy of our indigenous identity has been challenged by social and cultural constructs derived from a Western world view. As such, the wider kaupapa (purpose) of this project is that provides an enabling tool for Kāi Tahu whānui cultural reconnection, revitalisation and empowerment. In particular, it is intended to resonate with those Kāi Tahu who do not see themselves as meaningfully connected or authentic within their indigenous selves. With the focus of this research being on Māori cultural regeneration, the ontological, epistemological, and axiology positions within this project are framed within Kaupapa Māori Theory. As such, the research is situated within an Indigenous Autoethnography methodology and adopts p¯ur¯akau as a means to analyse the lived experience and craft mātauraka (knowledge) in ways that connects with contemporary society. Through the lens of self (including whakapapa), this project analyses’ and critiques the lived experience through critical Whiteness Theory to illuminate why Kāi Tahu (like myself) have felt culturally dislocated from their culture. Furthermore, with the work situated with the institution of Haute Cuisine, it exposes how the white ideologies, values, and beliefs of Haute Cuisine continue to practice and perpetuate whiteness. It asks questions of Haute Cuisine and its hegemonic ideologies in perpetuating the cultural isolation of Māori from their authentic selves. Most importantly, this project confirms that for Kāi Tahu (and other iwi) cultural identity is embedded within a unique set of world views and values. For those Māori who are culturally dislocated, reconnecting with these world view and values has the potential to heal historical cultural trauma and embody ones indigenous self. Keywords: culinary arts; education; colonisation; kaupapa Māori; pūrākau; indigenous autoethnography. Adrian Woodhouse's thesis was supervised by Martin Andrew, Richard Mitchell and Kelli Te Maihāroa.
... It resulted from a degree of permanence and long-term prediction in the system. These systems were instrumental for scheduling activities critical to the well-being of whānau/hapū/iwi such as local guidance and controls for fishing, hunting, gathering kai moana, and planting and harvesting food (Tawhai 2013;Hikuroa 2017). Climate change impacts poses a high risk to the maintenance of these cultural systems, altering their balance, especially with the shifting seasons and seasonal variability happening under climate change. ...
... Although widely discussed in positive terms, notably in environmental sciences (e.g. Hikuroa 2017;McAllister et al. 2019), the collaborative enterprise of bringing together parallel or intersecting interests in mātauranga and 'western' scholarship involves epistemological differences. Mātauranga emphasises integration over separation of knowledge categories, received over hypothesised interpretations and experiential over experimental practice. ...
Article
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Recent publications by Wehi and colleagues assert that Māori or other Polynesians in the pre-European era voyaged to and from the Antarctic. Such ideas have been advanced for more than a century, largely in relation to Rarotongan traditions translated by Percy Smith. As the juxtaposition of unexamined Polynesian traditions with historical archives is problematic for both historiography and matauranga Māori, an analytical approach is taken here to the traditional evidence. It is argued that a key assertion referring to frozen seas has a different and more probable interpretation and that there are no compelling traditions of Antarctic voyaging. In addition, Polynesian voyaging through the circumpolar westerlies would have little chance of success and archaeological evidence of Polynesian voyaging does not extend south of about 50° South. It is concluded that Antarctic voyaging by pre-European Polynesians seems most unlikely.
... Specifically, it includes the knowledge forms of pūrākau (creation mythology) and maramataka (moon cycles) and can be considered to incorporate "knowledge generated using techniques consistent with the scientific method, but explained according to a Māori world view". 24 In this composite map, we see that building mātauranga Māori into a public health intervention was seen to be a means of connecting individuals and communities with their culture, through reinforced whakapapa links and giving individuals a sense of identity and belonging. Building in Mātauranga Māori was perceived as an appropriate way to build community capacity and resilience to break the feedback loop of unhealthy food environments. ...
Article
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Issue addressed Hawke’s Bay has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in New Zealand. While several initiatives exist aiming to decrease obesity through physical activity, there are few nutritional interventions. This study adopted a systems science and mātauranga Māori approach to identify and target underlying drivers of rising childhood obesity and engage the community to improve the food environment. Methods Cognitive mapping interviews (CM) with local stakeholders (school principals, Iwi and district health board representatives, education managers, and local councillors) were conducted. The aim was to map participants’ mental models of the causes of rising childhood obesity and to identify key principles for engaging with the local community in a meaningful, impactful and culturally-appropriate way for future action. Results Eleven interviews were conducted face-to-face and cognitive maps were constructed. Follow-up interviews were carried out online, due to COVID restrictions, to present the maps and for interviewees to make any adjustments. Four composite themes emerged through centrality and cluster analysis of the resulting cognitive maps: the importance of building in mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge and ways of being), the ‘hauora’ of children, working with the community and integrating existing initiatives. Two contextual factors are also considered: the growing need for food security in our communities and the opportunity to start interventions in the school setting. Conclusion Cognitive mapping can produce useful insights in the early stages of community engagement. The six ‘pou’ (pillars) underscore the importance of incorporating indigenous knowledge when embarking on public health interventions, particularly around obesity and in regional communities. So what? When designing a public health initiative with a community with a high indigenous population, indigenous knowledge should be promoted to focus on holistic health, working with the community and creating opportunities for cohesion. These founding principles will be used to structure future community actions to improve children’s food environments in regional New Zealand.
... As a consequence of colonisation, significant loss of land, culture, institutions and authority resulted in a separation between Māori knowledge and the environs from it was developed, applied and transmitted through the generations (Hikuroa, 2017;Mead, 2003). This in turn resulted in a diminishment of Māori environmental knowledge, institutions and practice, and its substitution with non-Māori environmental knowledge, institutions and practices (Reid & Rout, 2016). ...
Technical Report
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A te ao Māori world view on the environment derives from mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), which provides a metaphysical explanation of the universe in which humans are descendants of Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother). In this view, human approaches to environmental management are modelled on the guardianship provided by the gods of the elements, the children of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. This approach is also conditioned by the principle that all things, animate and inanimate, are related and, therefore, an interdependency between human and nonhuman actors arises as to their wellbeing. A te ao Māori world view sees wellbeing as multidimensional (spiritual, physical, psychological and social), dependent on leaders and groups who collectively engender wellbeing defined in Māori terms as mauri ora and hauora, and is enhanced through fulfilling cultural roles and whakapapa-based affiliations. Thus, there are multiple views of what wellbeing is and ought to be, including health, leadership, affiliation, and identity. Māori wellbeing varies depending on the extent to which people identify as Māori and have access to te ao Māori. Importantly, human wellbeing and environmental wellbeing are mutually and simultaneously beneficial, where a healthy environment contributes to healthy people and economies. Te Arawa Lakes Trust represents a distinctive approach to managing environmental and human wellbeing, defined by a centuries-long association with the land, an Indigenous philosophy of water, emobodied by the trust’s governors, managers and staff. The trust’s approach is a lived philosophy, factored into decision-making through analysis and debate. Te Arawa identify synergies between cultural and commercial imperatives in decisions about the environment and wellbeing, but are somewhat constrained by resource limitations.
... By contrast, they explain how traditional knowledge tends to uphold tradition and valorise the past. As an example of this, they refer to the following statement by Hikuroa (2017) regarding Māori cosmonogy: ...
Article
In November 2019, three academics from Auckland University published an opinion piece in which they examined the relationship between science and mātauranga Māori. They concluded that, ‘Mātauranga Māori…subverts those aspects of science – namely objectivity, universality, and dedication to progress – that can further advance the understanding of nature and help find solutions to the major problems afflicting the planet.’ Part One of this paper examines the assumptions behind that conclusion and the sources of information used by the authors to construct their argument. It uncovers a fabric of wilful distortion, fabrication, omission, false comparisons and hyperbole. Part Two then addresses one of the major problems currently affecting the planet – the loss of biodiversity – and finds that the above-mentioned authors’ assumptions about science, indigenous knowledge and the planet’s problems are contradicted by the current global scientific consensus.
... The holistic system of thinking and knowledge, commonly referred to as Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and tikanga Māori (laws and principles), established and maintained a matrix of kin-centric relationships between all living and non-living actors (Ataria et al. 2018;Hikuroa 2016;. Included in this web of connections and overlapping rights and responsibilities were both humans and biota, biophysical and metaphysical entities, gods and ancestors. ...
Chapter
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This book was inadvertently published with incorrect information with reference to The Waikato River Authority on pages 306, 307, 369 and 370. This text has now been revised and updated.
... Māori knowledge, mātauranga, is the application of knowledge and understanding based on "evidence, cultural values, and world view." [14] It follows traditional, place-based knowledges developed in ongoing processes of observation and interpretation, guided by the inherited traditional values established by mana whenua-the people with customary authority in a particular area. [15] Life sustaining practices are guided by kaitiakitanga (the management of environmental resources) that include harvesting and fishing protocols, as well as protecting certain areas at different times of the season that may involve banning practices such as recreational fishing and birding. ...
Article
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This paper presents an approach to making the environmental crisis more tangible and accessible by presenting a new perspective for knowing the world that could lead us to develop more sustainable lifestyles and end support for ecology-damaging behaviours. To resolve the environmental damage and reconnect our cultural bonds to nature, this paper proposes that we seek guidance from Indigenous peoples who have followed nature’s laws for generations and know how to work collaboratively to balance human needs with the wider networks of ecological actors/participants/relations.
... The literature is dominated by well-meaning (or not) non-Indige nous sociologists and fellow travelers who find what they are looking for in their academ ic allyship. For example, a 2015 newspaper article (Wannan, 2015) supports the validity of Indigenous Knowledges in describing where a flooded stream is seen as a lizard whose tails flicks from side to side (Evans, 2020;Hikuroa, 2016;Jenkins, 2019). Such publica tions read as though Indigenous Peoples are trying to convince themselves that Indige nous ancestors knew a thing or two about the world they lived in. ...
Chapter
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Colonization can be interpreted as a disaster with a fixed beginning but an indeterminate end, whose very purpose was to dispossess, disarm and, if necessary, destroy Indigenous Peoples. Disasters therefore continue to fall disproportionately on disempowered Indigenous communities, families, and individuals-and Indigenous vulnerability is the corollary to settler colonial, capitalist, and neoliberal resiliency. Although Indigenous Knowledges can and do contribute to better disaster risk reduction (DRR), it is not obvious that the ongoing deployment of Indigenous Knowledges will prevent or even mitigate disasters for Indigenous communities. Positioning Indigenous Peoples as inherently resilient risks reifying the status quo of vulnerability and diverts attention from a key sociological component of resilience to disasters, namely sovereignty.
... 3). Validating mātauranga Māori (Hikuroa, 2017), and more specifically mātauranga-ā-whānau-Māori knowledge transmitted intergenerationally (Lipsham, 2020)-is still a struggle for many Māori to this day. ...
Article
Global studies attest that early engagement with childbirth education (CBE) classes enhances maternal and infant health outcomes. In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori participation rates in CBE classes are lower than those of their non-Māori counterparts. Current CBE classes are designed and delivered using a predominantly Western medicalised approach that negates Māori birthing knowledge, expertise, and values. However, sporadically, Kaupapa Māori CBE classes are being delivered. This article draws on a wider study that explores the Hapū Wānanga (HW) CBE programme, a by Māori, for Māori pregnancy and parenting initiative. This mixed-method interpretive study used retrospective post-course survey data of 1,152 participants over a three-year period from the HW based in the Waikato District Health Board region. Data explored the programme’s quality, the impact on levels of knowledge and understanding, and the overall experiences and views of participants. This artice interrogates the factors that shaped participation, engagement and acceptability of the HW for participants.
... Māori spaces within sciences are flooded with a multitude of horror stories of unethical practice where both research and researchers have contributed to acts of colonisation and injustice; all driven by an academy that was designed to structurally invalidate Indigenous knowledge, cultures, and value systems (Smith 2012). As a result, the science community has a long history of disregarding Māori knowledge and ways of knowing (known as mātauranga Māori) as mythical and therefore implausible (Hikuroa 2017). In this way, research has privileged western ways of knowing over Māori knowledge, communities, language, and culture. ...
Article
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Colonial institutions are notorious for using scientific research to claim ownership over Indigenous peoples and justify acts of colonisation (Smith, 2021). In response, Māori academics continue to advocate for culturally ethical practice; supported by a seemingly inexhaustible list of anecdotal evidence pertaining to the colonial violence experienced by Māori communities subjected to western research. Whilst recognising the historical and contemporary role of scientific research is vital to the safety and well-being of Māori communities, this generates a narrative that dissuades researchers from engaging with them. We question ‘who is the audience’ for this narrative and ‘does this generalised message unintentionally inhibit our rangatahi in these spaces?’ Messages of aroha and whānaungatanga are sorely missing from this research narrative leading to insinuations that can alienate rangatahi in the research space from working with their communities, whānau, hapū and iwi. Here we look to share our experiences as three rangatahi working alongside our people to diversify the narrative of researching with Māori communities. Through our narratives we hope to encourage other rangatahi to engage with their own people and foster the next generation of Indigenous scientists to actualise the aspiration of their communities.
... It is important to acknowledge here that the creation of such dualisms between nature and culture are not universal and as such, neither is the act of deconstructing binaries. Many indigenous cultures have never formed such divisional constructs (Whyte and Cuomo 2016;Hikuroa 2017;Winter 2019). Although the term 'regenerative agriculture' originated in the United States in the 1980's (Rodale Institute 2019), indigenous cultures often have embodied care-full socio-ecological approaches to agriculture for centuries (Sundberg 2014). ...
Article
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A growing body of literature argues that achieving radical change in the agri-food system requires a radical renegotiation of our relationship with the environment alongside a change in our thinking and approach to transformational food politics. This paper argues that relational approaches such as a more-than-human ethic of care (MTH EoC) can offer a different and constructive perspective to analyse agri-food system transformation because it emphasises social structures and relationships as the basis of environmental change. A MTH EoC has not yet been applied to regenerative agriculture, yet other literature on regenerative agriculture suggests that care may be present in these spaces and calls for the need for social science analysis of the regenerative movement. This paper uses a MTH EoC lens to reveal a diverse array of ways in which power is and can be deployed for change in the regenerative agriculture movement in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Globally, regenerative agriculture tends to be analysed through positivist, scientific approaches that focus on biophysical markers of ecological improvement. Yet, a relational approach reveals how engagement in regenerative agriculture is creating significant shifts in mindset towards more holistic and relational understandings of biological and social ecosystems. A regenerative mindset framework is suggested as a method of understanding the connection between a regenerative form of thinking, being and doing for farmers. Interviews suggested that this shift in farmers’ socio-ecological relations is crucial to the transformational potential of regenerative agriculture. This paper argues that relational analyses such as the MTH EoC approach used to analyse regenerative agriculture in this research, refresh the way we analyse agri-food system change. They also are critical to guiding and supporting on-the-ground socio-ecological shifts that are necessary to see agricultural transformation.
... New Zealand's pioneering development of the political and social understanding of rivers draws on indigenous Māori understandings of the world (Te Ao Māori), where humans are not distinguished as separate entities but form a small part of a relational network (Whakapapa), where all life has the same origin from the earth and sky [73]. Humans have a kin-based relationship with not just other life forms but with everything, the earth, the universe (Te Taiao) [80]. They are part of everything, and therefore, humans are not "of the land" but seen rather "as the land" [81] (p. ...
Article
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This paper reconceptualises social rights through an integration of human welfare and environmental welfare. This is essential if we are making a case for the radical policy changes required to respond to the current environmental crisis, such as maximum living standards and maximum income. As living standards and the demand for social rights increase across the world, this will lead to a concomitant pressure on nature. A maximum living standard based on an ecological footprint is a starting point to think about the need to grant legal rights and resources to nature. Following Polanyi, both humans and the environment are fictitious commodities; we therefore need to rethink our approach to social policy and decommodification to include the environment. This requires approaching social rights from an ecological perspective and breaking the anthropocentric barriers welfare policies create between society and nature. Here, we draw on the work of Michel Serres on ‘the natural contract’ in order to rethink the content of the social contract and develop an argument in favour of decommodifying nature. Using rivers as legal entities in New Zealand as our example, we illustrate how this theoretical approach could provide the foundations for sustainable eco-social policies in general and maximum living standards in particular.
... In the New Zealand context, Mātauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge) is a holistic worldview that encompasses knowledge of natural flora and fauna relationships, thus contributing to learning and inspiration (Hikuroa, 2017). Mātauranga Māori is also closely tied to "place," which influences a person's identity (from the supporting identities NCP). ...
Article
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Human well-being depends on the Earth’s natural system. While there is awareness of the impact of human activities on the environment, the reverse – nature’s role in human well-being – is usually not as clear. For decision makers and people to recognize the role of nature in human well-being, we need scientific evidence and ways to monitor trends that will ensure environmental policies are well designed and on track for long-term sustainability. We present a participative process to relate nature to human well-being and identify the important contributions from nature to different aspects of well-being. Our process is irrespective of classification systems for nature’s contributions and can use either ecosystem services or nature’s contributions to people (ES/NCP) concepts. Two criteria, impact and substitutability, have been used to rank the importance of the ES/NCP for well-being. We applied our approach in New Zealand, where the government has pioneered a well-being framework to measure wealth beyond GDP. The framework defines current well-being based on twelve domains, with intergenerational well-being dependent on four capitals (social, built, human and natural capital). By using a participative process, we designed a process to identify the important ES/NCP and well-being relationships. Our results showed that regulating ES/NCP contributed to the six broader categories of well-being, with non-material ES/NCP contributing to health, social relations, material well-being, and environmental quality categories. Material ES/NCP, such as food, energy, and timber, contributed mainly to material well-being, with small contributions to social relations and environmental quality well-being categories. This process can raise awareness and help stakeholders recognize the value of nature-based solutions for human well-being. It provides a structured approach to underpin fit-for-purpose indicators for monitoring and reporting the relationship between nature and well-being, target policy initiatives and identify potential trade-offs, and prioritize investment decisions across multiple outcomes.
... Daniel Hikuroa argues that myths are oral histories that capture topographic and geomorphological changes. For instance, the flicking of the tail of a taniwha can be interpreted as the river changing course over time (Hikuroa 2016). His telling of the Ngatoroirangi story charts specific places across the Taupō Volcanic Zone where the god-like "sisters" of Ngatoroiranga created subterranean passages and emerged above the Earth's surface, venting magma and steam above ground (Hikuroa 2009). ...
Article
Carl Mika's article tells of tensions arising in epistemic matters, in particular New Zealand modern institutions tasked with attending to epistemic concerns in provision of State services and governance. In her response Helen Verran likewise attends to epistemics. Agreeing that a period of isolationism might be in order as Māori institutions recuperate from the ravages of colonialism--including epistemic cruelty and injustice, Verran asks about possibilities for knowingfully going on together doing different knowing-doing together as futures arrive in New Zealand's institutions.
... We ask researchers to navigate their research in a way that leads to the empowerment of the people of Mā'ohi Nui by reflecting on their positionality and values while applying ethical conduct and protocols, and by employing methods, methodologies, and frameworks inspired by local epistemologies and ontologies. We hope this will encourage scholars to engage with academic works by Pacific and Indigenous scholars around the world who are advocating for more representative perspectives and epistemologies (Archibald et al., 2019;Denzin et al., 2008;Hikuroa, 2017;Koya, 2013;Naepi, 2019;Oliveira & Wright, 2016;Pasisi, 2019;Pihama, 2011;Ryder et al., 2019;Smith, 2021). ...
Article
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Historically, scholarship of and about Mā’ohi Nui (French Polynesia) has been conducted using western methods, methodologies, and frameworks which has, to a large extent, resulted in inaccurate and degrading representations of the people and the islands. In accordance with the empowering trends of Critical Pacific Studies, this article proposes a new way forward by advocating for the creation of Mā’ohi (French Polynesian) methodologies and frameworks and the incorporation of values and protocols in an effort to re-centre and de-centralise the historical inaccuracies of European scholarship, encouraging scholarship founded within the principles of for Mā’ohi researchers, by Mā’ohi researchers, or for Mā’ohi, by Mā’ohi.
... When repetitively experiencing an event like floods, Indigenous people craft explanations upon which to base their practices (Hikuroa, 2017;Obi et al., 2021). Specifically, various scholars suggest manifold aspects related to co-creation of practices once Indigenous people find themselves in situations they cannot change (Hiwasaki et al., 2014;Maathai, 2010;Reichel and Frömming, 2014). ...
Article
The added value of indigenous practices for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is increasingly stressed by scholars. Yet this fails to translate into practical application as these scholars miss a clear understanding of the processes that shape indigenous DRR. Based on a case of floods in the Rwenzori (Uganda), in this study, the aimed is to conceptualize the socio-epistemic processes through which Indigenous people question their practices and develop adapted DRR strategies. By trying out various practices over several floods, Indigenous people developed a toolbox of criteria to address the changing disaster risk. The capacity to learn from each event is illustrated by crafting practices that enhance ecological integrity, livelihoods, and sociocultural well-being across the watershed. This skill is largely attributed to the community structures organized around the cultural stewardship which favor a holistic approach to produce best practices. Yet, through history, adapted indigenous DRR strategies remain hampered by external pressures that are sociopolitical and capitalistic in nature. It is thus argued that cultural stewardship is crucial in enabling development of adapted indigenous DRR insofar as external sociopolitical and/or capitalistic situations permit.
Article
Objective: This study aims to understand the context of place associated with smoking in urban Hamilton parks from a Te Ao Māori perspective (the worldview of Māori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand). Methods: Our study approached smokefree environments in Hamilton through a Māori lens, undertaking interviews with family groups and people from organisations involved in the local Smokefree environments policy. Results: The majority of the 26 adult participants identified as Māori, with 30% being current smokers. Parks had a place in the sporting memories of participants. Smoking was merged with these memories. Important features of places that influenced smoking behaviours were raised, with signage a key talking point. Conclusions: The colonial construct of parks do not make visible Māori values and historical associations with the land, nor do they set a framework that would promote Māori ways of being and doing, including enacting smokefree spaces and places. Implications for public health: This study provides the incentive to address change in parks and reserve management that would support Māori aspirations for their health and wellbeing associated with ancestral land, and give meaning to smokefree environments.
Article
Bicultural research is important for disaster education in Aotearoa NZ. Historically, deficit-based perspectives of Western Science underrepresent Māori knowledge. However, culturally grounded research partnerships have potential to revitalize engagement with Māori by braiding Indigenous Science and Western Science narratives to improve our collective understanding of the volcanic processes. We share insights from participant interviews on the co-creation of an educational virtual field trip (VFT) resource that weaves understandings from Mātaurānga Māori and Geology to teach about caldera volcanoes in Aotearoa NZ. This study highlights some key considerations for collaboration between Indigenous Māori and non-Māori partners. To conduct the research in a culturally appropriate way, a formal kawa (protocol) was established between the lead researcher and the Māori partners and culturally acceptable ethics in accordance with the Māori partners were implemented. The He Awa Whiria (braided river) methodology was followed through the multiple stages of engagement and the two-staged interview study design. Emergent codes from the interview indicate that relations and values are crucial for authentic partnerships and create space for sharing where challenges and emerging understandings can be repositioned. This study demonstrates that Māori academics, local Māori facilitators and researchers are crucial in the engagement process with local iwi (tribes) to define shared goals and understand expected project outcomes. We suggest that the development of bicultural educational resources must be grounded in an understanding of obligations to uphold the intergenerational intellectual property of the local iwi. This process requires significant resourcing of time, knowledge and energy and should be budgeted-in prior to the start of project-partnerships.
Article
Systems Thinking is increasingly applied to address complex societal and public health issues in Aotearoa, New Zealand and has been proposed as a good fit with traditional wisdom and Mātauranga Māori (Indigenous knowledge) from Aotearoa, New Zealand. In this article, we delve into the theoretical underpinnings of Systems Thinking approaches used in Community-Based System Dynamics research and find parallels with Indigenous narratives and knowledge. The synergy created by combining these two knowledge systems and practices is proposed as an effective way to approach public health issues that emerge from complex adaptive systems, particularly in communities with large numbers of Indigenous peoples. Examples are given from an initiative to engage community to improve food security and nutrition in regional Aotearoa, New Zealand.
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River restoration is not just a biophysical act but a sociocultural intervention which reflects and affects relationships between people and the environment. To restore a river is to assert how it should look and how it should behave: an act which often privileges anthropocentric aspirations and understandings regarding freshwater. In this chapter, we show how mātauranga Māori – worldviews, knowledge, values, insights, and interests of the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand – constructively challenge understandings of what river restoration is and how it should be carried out. Drawing on examples emerging from processes of restorative justice in Aotearoa New Zealand, we examine how national policy provisions and new institutional forms support approaches to water governance that enable plural conceptions of rivers. Based on Māori philosophies in which humans are part of nature, with no divide between nature and culture, these developments offer valuable alternatives to modernist regimes that seek to assert human dominance over rivers.
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When Captain James Cook's bark the Endeavour arrived in Tūranga-nui in October 1769, the local people were mystified. Many thought that this spectre had appeared from te pō, the dark realm of ancestors. Cook's scientific expedition, sponsored by the Royal Society, was accompanied by Tupaia, a high priest from Ra'iatea. Tupaia joined the ship in Tahiti, where Cook and his companions had observed the transit of Venus. At Tūranga, misunderstandings led to shootings, but when they arrived at Uawa (now Tolaga Bay), the expedition was welcomed ashore. Tupaia and his companions had many friendly exchanges with the priests from Te Rāwheoro, the local whare wānanga or school of learning, which specialised in carving and tattoo. This paper examines differences and resonances between Enlightenment science and philosophy and wānanga (Māori ancestral knowledge), and how exchanges between these knowledge traditions might open up possibilities for new kinds of futures.
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The ideas advanced in this paper accept a priori the existence and validity of alternative world views which each seek to make sense of and understand the world. More specifically it advances the theory that matauranga and wananga1 comprise a body of knowledge situated within a cognitive genealogical framework called whakapapa; and that this provides the theoretical or epistemological basis for a Maori ‘way of knowing’ about the world. As will be described, this framework embraces multiple ontologies concerning how things came to be, each of which is grounded in both knowledge of natural science (primarily biological) as well as spiritual knowledge. Examples drawn from whakapapa of selected plants and animals not only reveal the extent and nature of the knowledge embedded in mātauranga, but also highlight the various functions whakapapa appear to have served in an oral society. These roles, and the potential of whakapapa to continue to contribute to the growth of knowledge are also discussed in the light of perspectives from other scholars of matauranga. .
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This paper is drawn from the methodological journey chartered in my doctoral thesis and was originally presented at the Mai Doctoral Conference, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. Pūrākau, a term usually used to refer to Māori myths and legends, was deliberately designated as a methodological tool to investigate the topic of my study - the ‘stories’ of Māori teachers. However, to make methodological space for pūrākau as a narrative inquiry method was not a straightforward shift. This paper sets out the way pūrākau as methodology was developed and describes the engagement with decolonizing methodologies and kaupapa Māori as the work of the Indigenous bricoleur.
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