Tūhonohono: tikanga Māori me te Ture Pākehā ki Takutai Moana

We are investigating how mātauranga and tikanga Māori (Māori knowledge and custom) and New Zealand's state laws can be applied to our marine estate so that they are mutually beneficial. In addition, we will explore how those laws could evolve to reflect the best values and concepts of both of our founding peoples.

Project leader: Robert Joseph, University of Waikato

Understanding the dynamic between Māori lore and NZ law

Understanding the relationship between mātauranga and tikanga Māori (Māori knowledge and custom) and Aotearoa New Zealand’s state law – and how to apply both over our marine estate so that they are mutually beneficial to both cultures – are large and complex questions.

Tūhonohono (binding together) is a cohesive vision of New Zealand jurisprudence, the theory and philosophy of law, over the marine estate. We are exploring how the laws and institutions in New Zealand could evolve to reflect the best values and concepts of both of New Zealand’s founding peoples – Māori and European.

We are:

  • Assessing the compatibility of marine policy and law with the mātauranga and tikanga Māori of specific iwi, hapū and whānau within Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka-a-Māui/Top of the South Island
  • Investigating how mātauranga and tikanga Māori are applied in the marine environment
  • Exploring what the enablers and/or barriers in New Zealand marine policy and law are for the application of mātauranga and tikanga Māori, and what effect this has on uncertainty when making decisions about increased use of marine resources
  • Exploring how legal and regulatory systems could be modified to enable them to work more cohesively with mātauranga and tikanga Māori, to achieve kaitiakitanga and EBM outcomes specific to Māori
  • Building on international Indigenous examples that have successfully applied Indigenous customary law and mainstream law to marine environments
  • Exploring innovative marine management models that implement cohesive jurisprudence and reflect the best values and concepts of both founding peoples.

Latest news and updates

Sustainable Seas features on Ocean Bounty S2 EP7

Sir Rob Fenwick,  our Chairman was interviewed about Sustainable Seas on S2 EP7 of Ocean Bounty. You can watch it here on TV 3 on demand.  (6.57 to 11.20).  

Consultation opens re 2019–2024 strategy

Improving marine management is critical to New Zealand's future health and wealth, but research in isolation is not enough. Excellent engagement with, and participation from, all users and sectors of society is essential.

We therefore invite comment on our draft strategy for Phase II (2019–2024). This strategy has been co-developed with Māori and stakeholders.

Sun, sea, sand – and marine science

During Seaweek, more than 4,600 school pupils joined 6 Sustainable Seas researchers for 3 days of marine science fieldwork in Tasman Bay, as part of the LEARNZ virtual field trip Sustainable seas – essential for New Zealand’s health and wealth.