Research reports and summaries

beach (Dave Allen/NIWA)

Publicly available project final reports and concise overviews about our research findings

Blue economy

Transitioning to a blue economy: scoping and horizon scanning

December 2019

This report identifies which marine activities have the potential to help New Zealand transition to a blue economy – ie they are sustainable, resilient to climate change, minimise waste, and have positive impacts on society and culture.

Visit the Transitioning to a blue economy project page.

Our Seas

Dissecting the discourse of social licence to operate (SLO)

August 2018

This poster gives an overview of research into the public discourse of SLO in relation to NZ’s marine industries.

Visit the Frameworks for achieving and maintaining social licence project page.

Navigating the implementation impasse: enabling interagency collaboration on cumulative effects

July 2019

This lay-friendly summary give an overview of a suite of guiding principles and a decision-making tool, the Aotearoa Cumulative Effects (ACE) framework, collaboratively developed by partners and participants from ki uta ki tai (mountain-to-sea). ACE helps practitioners to structure collaborative efforts to manage cumulative effects from human activities and natural events that affect Aotearoa New Zealand’s seas.

Visit the Enabling inter-agency collaboration on cumulative effects project page.

Valuable Seas

Re-use of offshore infrastructure and platforms: assessing value to communities, industry and the environment

March 2018

This report details the study investigating the regulatory, economic, environmental, and social considerations of future decommissioning practises in New Zealand. There are a number of offshore oil and gas installations in New Zealand that are approaching the end of their economic field-life and there is an interest in understanding local perspectives of decommissioning and how that may align with international practice.

Visit the Re-use of offshore infrastructure and platforms project page.


Hui-te-ana-nui: Understanding kaitiakitanga in our marine environment

July 2017

This report is of practical use to anyone with an interest in marine resource management, including: iwi and hapū; community groups; environmental NGOs; central/regional/local government; policy makers; industry and businesses; and researchers.

It explains themes identified by the research and why they are important to consider in decision-making. It also indexes the reference sources of this varied mātauranga, and signposts where to go for further detail so Māori communities and resource managers (and others with an interest) can find the information they need to make an informed decision about how to better use our marine resources.

Visit the Hui-te-ana-nui project page.

Hui-te-ana-nui: Understanding kaitiakitanga in our marine environment

October 2018

This lay-friendly summary gives an overview of the research and the sources of information that are detailed in the full, extensive report (see above).

Visit the Hui-te-ana-nui project page.

He Pou Tokomanawa: Kaitiakitanga in practice

July 2019

This report combines findings drawn from 4 wānanga (gatherings for discussion) and 17 interviews conducted in 2018 across the Tasman and Golden Bay region with whānau (family members) of Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Tama and Te Ātiawa. It also incorporates discussions from a kotahitanga hui (collective meeting) held at Te Āwhina Marae, Motueka, and the hui whakamutunga (final meeting) of the project team and Kaitohutohu (advisory group members) at the Cawthron Institute in May and June 2019 respectively.

This report is relevant to Māori, scientists, resource management professionals, students and others. We also hope that the documentation of Kaupapa Māori research methodologies is informative and helpful for anyone else who wishes to support similar iwi-led projects.

Visit the He Pou Tokomanawa project page.

Taipiri: Empowering the kaitiaki of Tauranga Moana with mātauranga from Aotearoa and beyond via an online resource centre

July 2019

This report describes how an  online Pataka Mātauranga (digital resource) was co-developed with frontline kaitiaki of Tauranga Moana. Kaitiaki can use data from marine ecology, spatial planning, real-time monitoring, and aquaculture to support their work, but finding out about and accessing these troves of science information is not always straightforward – and the format is not always readily understandable or useable. Kaitiaki and Māori communities are using the Pataka Mātauranga to support their educational, research, future co-management/co-governance, and planning activities in the domain of Tangaroa.

    Visit the Tāhuhu Matatau Te Ao Tangaroa project page.

    The Treaty, tikanga Māori, EBM, mainstream law and power sharing for environmental integrity

    July 2019

    This report focuses on analysing ecosystem-based management (EBM) through the incorporation of mātauranga and tikanga Māori and power sharing through Treaty partnerships over the marine and coastal estate.

    Visit the Tūhonohono: tikanga Māori me te Ture Pākehā ki Takutai Moana project page.

    The historical and contemporary structure of the Māori marine economy

    July 2019

    This report details the results of a literature review. The research team examined more than 150 articles and reports to distil 5 key factors that will drive growth of the Māori marine economy:

    • The continued development of Māori customary rights
    • Integration of hapū and whanau into iwi and pan iwi economic activity
    • An integrated value chain where as many elements as possible are owned by Māori
    • Branding and marketing that is inspired by hapū and iwi stories, symbols and designs which communicate their whakapapa and connection to tipuna and whenua
    • That provenance and authentication and traceability are communicated to the consumer in a way that is grounded in tikanga Māori

    Visit the Whai rawa, Whai Mana, Whai Oranga project page.

    Māori marine-based enterprises and kaitiaki-centred business models

    July 2019

    This report describes 5 case studies representing different business models (ACE trading company, joint venture or iwi fishing company), examining aspects of their operations that have a resonance with kaitiaki-centred business models.

    The case studies are: Ngāi Tahu Seafoods and Moana New Zealand (large Māori fishing companies); the Iwi Collective Partnership (a Māori collective organisation); Ngāti Kahungunu (a tribe with a range of fisheries assets); and Eastern Sea Farms and Aotearoa Clams (two Māori-owned fishing companies).

    Visit the Whai rawa, Whai Mana, Whai Oranga project page.

    Mapping the Māori marine economy

    July 2019

    This report details how the Māori marine economy (MME) has emerged out of Māori responses and adaptations to Crown-created institutions and structures that are different from traditional Māori institutions. These institutional structures place limitations on the commercial options available to Māori entities and create tensions between traditional economic forms of organisation and the contemporary corporate-beneficiary approaches.

    Visit the Whai rawa, Whai Mana, Whai Oranga project page.

    Vision Mātauranga

    International comparative study: incorporation of indigenous approaches to guardianship and stewardship in Canada’s resource management policy framework(s)

    November 2016

    This report evaluates how indigenous approaches have been incorporated into Canada’s marine resource management policies. The researchers identified 5 elements to consider for developing EBM that successfully incorporates Māori perspectives and aspirations.

    • Power dynamics – Canada’s ‘enabling’ legal framework supported transformative shifts in policy making, engagement between First Nations and government, and decision-making.
    • Jurisdiction – Any party that has jurisdiction over the location, resource and/or activities should be involved in developing EBM otherwise there is a risk of conflict and ineffective co-governance.
    • Adaptive management – ‘Learning by doing’, ie an iterative process that feeds back into future decision-making and adapts to uncertainty and/or changes in the ecosystem.
    • Agency – Ensuring indigenous people are able to participate in decision-making.
    • Recognition of indigenous knowledge – Acknowledging traditional ecological knowledge as a legitimate body of knowledge, and using it alongside Western science through shared governance and participative bottom-up planning processes and monitoring.

    Visit the International Comparative Study project page.

    Latest news and updates

    Blue economy core research concepts open for review

    The Challenge Leadership Team has developed core research project concepts for Theme 2: Creating value from a blue economy.

    Ngā mihi maioha, Sir Rob

    Te tai ra, Te tai ra
    Te tai ra e pari ana ki hea
    E pari ana  ki te kauheke tangata
    Ka rongo te ao
    Kua rongo te po

    E te rangatira

    Kua riro atu koe ki te kapunipunitanga o te tangata. Ko te reo o te taiao tera e rangona atu i te mūnga o tōu na reo.

    Ka waiho ma maumahara koe e mahara ki ou mahi rangatira i te wa o te ora. No reira, Haere atu ra, haere atu ra, okioki mai.

    Innovation Fund is open for blue economy initiatives

    We invite NZ-based researchers, industry, stakeholders and Māori to submit expressions of Interest (EoIs) for research projects that will contribute directly to building a ‘blue economy’ in Aotearoa.