Capacity for Transition
Whenua Life Values
An online tool to assist Māori agribusiness in making strategic decisions within a kaupapa Māori framework
What Did We Do?
As more land is returned to iwi through Treaty settlements, Māori land entities are exploring how to provide for their people while upholding principles such as kaitiakitanga (values of guardianship and mutual responsibility). Many Māori land trusts and incorporations are recognised innovators in the agribusiness sector. There is also considerable scope for improvement, with some estimates putting the potential for adding value by highlighting cultural attributes as $8 billion over 10 years.
The Māori agricultural sector is therefore crucial to the development of future agribusiness solutions that are productive economically, while also restoring the wellbeing of the land and water resources underpinning agriculture for future generations.
Māori agribusinesses experience unique opportunities and limitations as a result of competing market, legislative, cultural and social factors. Our researchers have developed a suite of indicators that measure and present these factors in an online format. The Kohuratia website provides Māori agribusiness in Aotearoa New Zealand with a snapshot of the current constraints their operations are faced with, and identifies the most impactful actions an organisation can make.
How Can The Research Be Used?
- Māori agribusinesses can gather data about their values, current performance, capabilities and capacity, and enter it into the Kohuratia online tool. The tool then generates from this data a series of priority actions that will support Maori agribusinesses in meeting their goals, and helping optimise economic, social, and environmental outcomes.
- Kohuratia is not Māori-specific – it can be used for any farm and has been tested with Pakehā farmers.
- Through a quantitative survey this research has determined that there are strong correlations among values, rather than trade-offs. Examples of Māori agribusiness value-drivers working in synergy include:
- Māori agribusinesses that experience strong wealth generation (whai rawa) also exhibit growth in mauri (health) of their whenua, improved social connections and relationships (manaakitanga), and have more effective governance (mana whakahaere)
- Strong whanaungatanga correlates strongly with profitability and land health
- Increasing land health correlates with increasing profit
- Effective governance (mana whakahaere) correlates strongly with profitability and increasing land health
- This research has developed an indicator matrix for measuring enablers and constraints on Māori agribusinesses in 5 domain areas: access to capabilities, access to working capital, pathways to market, positive relationships, and the capacity to overcome regulatory constraints.
- The research creates the opportunity to consider how Māori science and kaitiakitanga values can make a crucial contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand’s agriculture and food sectors.
- The Kohuratia online tool is being used by several Maori Trusts, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ.
- Kohuratia can be used by Board of Trustees to reflect on key areas to focus on (eg governance and conflict resolution) in a way that is non-confrontational.
- Kohuratia can be used by farm extension managers and agricultural consultants to stimulate discussion and use alongside deeper analysis. It can be used in farm environment plan development.
In the Media
Our Land and Water blog, September 2019
There are four values at the core of Māori agribusiness, which work as a positive feedback loop to grow health, relationships, leadership and profitability.VIEW ARTICLE →
- The Kohuratia online tool will be shortly used by 5 Māori Land Trusts that will provide researchers with feedback on its efficacy and to identify ways to improve its function.
- The final refined product will be tested across 100 Māori Land Trusts and incorporations by Dairy NZ, and across a group of Māori landowners by Beef and Lamb NZ.
- There is interest in the tool from Te Puna Kokiri and the Ministry for Primary Industries, with the latter committing to testing and further developing the tool with Māori agribusiness partners.
- Key investigators in the project have strong connections with Māori land trusts, incorporations and rūnanga that own and operate farms. Science and technology used in the research has been tested with stakeholders alongside engagement with the scientific community.
Have a Question?
We are happy to answer any questions about this research and how it can be used.
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