Mātauranga Māori

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Programme Title: Mātauranga Māori - Better understanding and implementation of Mātauranga Māori and tikanga to build resilience

Programme Leader: Dr Jon Procter (Massey University)

Programme Overview

We will integrate local/traditional/Iwi knowledge and integrate new Te Reo and Māori values into improved natural hazard resilience strategies for all New Zealand communities.  This Co-creation Laboratory will also provide a basis for Māori researchers to explore Mātauranga Māori, Māori innovation and creativity and explore more meaningful ways to communicate resilient solutions to Māori and New Zealand.  This research will produce new hazard and environmental management tools and Iwi development strategies that are rooted in long-lived successful traditional planning techniques that have survived through the ages in the face of New Zealand’s natural hazards, in some cases for over 700 years of human occupation. This pool of resources and Māori researchers will also guide other researchers to fulfil Vision Mātauranga (VM) principles and outcomes within the other strands of research within the Resilience Challenge.

Programme Outcomes

Contribution to Challenge Mission: This research will result in Māori (and more broadly all New Zealand communities) to develop culturally appropriate resilience practices that include “home-grown” innovation and more effective communication of science/Mātauranga and co-created research. The project also contributes to VM by encouraging enduring relationships with Māori communities with a focus on resilient outcomes, emphasising the building of capacity within Iwi. This project will also contribute to developing transformative resilience solutions by identifying and applying neglected knowledge and traditional decision-making and planning solutions that have been successful in New Zealand. A more resilient New Zealand will also be achieved through the strengthening of Māori assets, businesses and economic practices to allow communities to thrive during or after an event.  

Vision Mātauranga (“VM”) outcome: The overall object of Vision Mātauranga (VM) and its themes is to unlock the innovation potential of Māori knowledge to benefit all New Zealand. This project directly involves building capacity and capability of Iwi in New Zealand by developing Māori researchers to engage directly with iwi and provide unique methods and tools. The project also contributes to VM by encouraging research to build long term, enduring relationships that will in turn build capacity within Iwi. Developing new methods and techniques to not only better identify and articulate Iwi vulnerabilities surrounding natural hazards, but also monitor (kaitiakitanga) their own cultural landscapes and implement adaptive strategies and solutions that are consistent with tikanga and kawa, directly fulfills the Mātauranga Māori and Taiao themes of VM.  VM will also be fulfilled through;

  • Indigenous innovation: Improving the knowledge of the assets and their vulnerabilities will allow future economic decisions to be made with greater certainty. There will also be the development of innovative new research and hazard management plans for iwi
  • Taiao: Encouraging and supporting katiakitanga and to monitor and adapt to changing their hazardscape links to Taiao and the relationship Māori have with papatuanuku.
  • Hauora: Assisting iwi to become more resilient to natural hazards through awareness and taking steps to make marae and other iwi assets more resilient and effective to emergency response and recovery will in turn make our communities and people safer.

10-year outcome: Māori knowledge base and innovation has contributed to making New Zealand communities more resilient to natural hazard. Māori are providing resilience solutions to indigenous peoples worldwide who are facing similar threats.

5-year outcome: Local/traditional/Iwi knowledge and new Te Reo and values have been integrated into new natural hazard resilience strategies.  This will be evidenced by the production of key toolkits and documents (in Te Reo) that are benefitting Māori, Iwi and the government.

This Programme is formed by three Projects:

1. Wāhanga Tuatahi (Tikanga Māori):  This project aims to provide underpinning guidance to Mātauranga Māori and develop tikanga to support the strategies and case-study approaches of the Resilience Challenge. We will elucidate Mātauranga Māori and develop existing and new Te Reo in relation to natural hazard and resilience to support hazard education, hazard management, emergency response and disaster recovery.

2. Wāhanga Tuarua (Māori Assets): This project aims to identify and strengthen key iwi/hapū assets (farms, forestry, marae, pa) that provide cornerstones of community resilience, through highlighting their role and importance and fostering appropriate adaptive strategies. The role these assets play through the hazard cycle will be promoted, from aspects of critical infrastructure capability, through to roles in supporting social response and recovery.

3. Wāhanga Tuatoru (Māori cultural landscapes and kaitiakitanga): This project will develop frameworks to support iwi to undertake their own natural hazard monitoring and management strategies and revive traditional environmental planning methods for Māori land, natural resources and landscapes of cultural significance.