He Pou Tokomanawa: kaitiakitanga in practice in our marine environment

This is New Zealand's first Māori-led research using science methodology. It is co-designed, facilitated by Tiakina Te Taiao in partnership with Cawthron Institute. Our aim is to develop a culturally-relevant pathway to enable Māori to evaluate and contribute to ecosystem-based management (EBM) tools and processes unique to Aotearoa, while supporting mana whenua iwi to practice kaitiakitanga (guardianship).

Project leader: Frank Hippolite, Tiakina Te Taiao

Marine kaitiakitanga in practice

Application and practice of kaitiakitanga has become increasingly difficult due to growing pressure for the use of, and cumulative stressors on, resources and because management is based on legislation and science rather than tikanga/ custom and mātauranga Māori/Māori knowledge. Further, mana whenua iwi in considering environmental management are experiencing the continuous loss of traditional knowledge. Although there is some provision for kaitiakitanga in resource and environmental management legislation, application is inconsistent and reflects the limitations of taking cultural aspects out of context.

In the case study area of Tasman Bay/Te Tai-o-Aorere and Golden Bay/Mohua we will:

  • Use appropriate mechanisms to bring together multiple mana whenua iwi perspectives, aspirations and priorities
  • Examine mātauranga Māori to define and restore the cultural context of Te Tai-o-Aorere and Mohua
  • Evaluate environmental frameworks from a mātauranga Māori perspective to help develop a kaitiakitanga framework
  • Develop a working relationship with the wider Challenge programme to initiate a marine EBM ‘interface’ process referred to as ‘Te Wheke Hononga’

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.