Mauri Moana, Mauri Tangata, Mauri Ora - documenting social values

Children on a Nelson beach

We are exploring ways to assess the non-monetary values of coastal and marine ecosystem services, to develop more comprehensive and culturally-appropriate ecosystem accounting and EBM efforts in Aotearoa.

Project leader: Shaun Awatere, Landcare Research

How do New Zealanders value marine ecosystems?

We are exploring ways to assess the non-monetary values of coastal and marine ecosystem services, and illuminating the diversity of values that New Zealanders hold for the marine environment.

This research is urgently needed to inform the development of marine EBM. It will also contribute to the development of more equitable ecosystem-based decision making around the world.

At present, when ecosystem services are included in environmental planning, policy, and decision-making only their economic benefits are considered. The validity of ecological and social perspectives and non-monetary values are neither acknowledged nor included. Although some non-monetary values like spirituality, metaphysics and morals do not fit naturally into an ecosystem services approach they should not be disregarded.

To develop an approach that accounts for these important but unacknowledged values, we have reviewed New Zealand-based and international work on nonmonetary valuation with relevance for ecosystem services, with a focus on Kaupapa Māori research (transformational research conducted by and for New Zealand’s indigenous people) and international work involving indigenous knowledge systems.

We are using the insights from this review to develop a platform that engages with indigenous and other social values. This will enable more comprehensive and culturally-appropriate ecosystem accounting and EBM efforts in Aotearoa.

Latest news and updates

Award recognises contribution to marine science

University of Waikato scientist Professor Conrad Pilditch is the 2018 winner of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society Award. The Award recognises his continued and outstanding contribution to marine science in New Zealand.

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.