Capacity for Transition
Mauri Whenua Ora
Unlocking the potential of Māori land by advancing new production systems and market opportunities, using a mātauranga-centred framework
Challenge funding: $2,000,000
Research duration: July 2016 – June 2019
What Are We Doing?
Many Māori groups are facing unprecedented levels of economic development through Treaty of Waitangi settlements and new entrepreneurial ventures. Māori cultural attributes are increasingly valued by consumers in some export markets; some estimates suggest the potential for adding value is $8 billion over 10 years.
However Māori agribusiness is complex. Land managers must ensure the cultural and environmental health of their whenua (land), while unlocking its economic potential to support its tangata whenua (people) – including descendants who now live elsewhere and may not be attached to or involved in their lands.
Mauri Whenua Ora researchers are collaborating with Taitokerau (Northland) land entities, hapū and individuals to co-develop a range of models responsive to diverse needs and interests. These models include the Te Hiku Platform, a multi-tribal economic platform, and Pā to Plate, a social innovation economy model which connects hua (produce and resources) from ancestral lands with descendant markets.
How Can The Research Be Used?
- Mauri Whenua Ora researchers added Māori land block data into the existing Māori Maps platform, the website portal to the 768 tribal marae of New Zealand, soon after it was released by the Māori Land Court, with the goal of creating a land-use decision-support tool for iwi, Māori land entities, trusts, and other Māori land decision-makers.
- Mauri Whenua Ora researchers then brought in another data set through Whenua Viz, the Māori land visualisation tool developed by Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. This gave each Māori Map land block a direct portal to its land-use potential, historic land cover and soil properties on Whenua Viz.
- The social and economic iwi data of Taitokerau is available at the Kete Aronui of Iwi of Taitokerau website. This resource includes income, employment and education data for the 9 Taitokerau iwi populations. The next steps are to integrate these data layers with the Māori Maps platform.
- A proof-of-concept decision-support tool focusing on the Bay of Islands was developed through a collaborative process with the Amokura Iwi Consortium (representing chief executives of 7 Taitokerau iwi), Stats NZ and Manaaki Whenua. The decision support tool brings together cultural GIS data to guide Māori land use decisions where ecosystems and human health (oranga) are fundamental to outcomes in addition to economic objectives. Work to extend the decision support tool to the Bay of Plenty is underway. This will provide valuable information for a future national application.
- The process of developing the Pā to Plate micro-economy model has begun by working with producers and community representatives to build the business model and cyclical value chain. This is beginning to fulfil a project aim to connect dispersed tangata whenua to their marae.
- An iwi land use platform has been developed in collaboration with Te Hiku Iwi. The Te Hiku Platform is founded on iwi-defined principles of land use and development with a special focus on forestry. It will help centralise the role of iwi and collaborative partners in advancing forestry interests and will act as a model for wider application elsewhere.
In the Media
Māori Maps media release, 30 April 2018
“Not only will this information enable a richer understanding of the Māori landscape, but it also provides another avenue for people to make connections back to their ancestral marae,” said Dr Paora Tapsell, Chair of Te Potiki National TrustVIEW ARTICLE →
- At the 2016 Oromahoe Trust AGM, attended by AgResearch, a micro economy was discussed and the wider community was invited to participate. Responses were enthusiastic.
- A follow up report back was given to the Oromahoe Trust at its 2017 AGM.
- A survey of 150 people in March 2017 (mainly at the Ngati Hine festival and an Oromahoe Trust special meeting) showed that close to 100% of survey respondents would like to purchase from an initiative like Pā to Plate. Many were willing to pay more for it or add a koha to the asking price.
- Ongoing relationships with several First Nations people who are involved in entrepreneurial food enterprises within US communities were established at the Green Bay Food Sovereignty Summit (around 300 in attendance) in October 2017.
- Mauri Whenua Ora has held 4 hui with iwi Chief Executives to help them access the Taitokerau regional decision-support tools and inform the design of further iwi and hapū decision support tools.
Professor Merata KawharuUniversity of Otago Profile →
Professor Paul TapsellUniversity of Otago Profile →
Garth HarmsworthManaaki Whenua Profile →
Tanira KingiScion Profile →
Stephen McTaggartUniversity of Auckland Profile →
Hauiti HakopaUniversity of Otago Profile →
Krushil WateneMassey University Profile →
Hirini TaneOtago University Profile →
Raaniera Te WhataOtago University
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