Capacity for Transition

How Iwi Chief Execs Are Helping Our Researchers Design New Land-Use Tools

Mauri Whenua Ora research has scaled up its co-design processes and decision-support tools by holding 4 hui with iwi chief executives.

Four hui have been held with iwi chief executives to help them access the Tai Tokerau regional decision-support tools being developed by the Mauri Whenua Ora research team, led by Dr Merata Kawharu with hui held by Garth Harmsworth (Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Raukawa).

Chief Executive input to the design of these tools and a gap analysis of Tai Tokerau economic development reports are important for ensuring that these tools effectively support hapū and iwi in achieving their land innovation goals.

The hui and gap analysis identified that:

  • There is interest in tools and models that can support iwi/Māori landowner decision-making, though these tools need to be tailored to  iwi issues/aspirations
  • Tools must support the complexity of iwi decision-making across social, environmental, economic-development, political and cultural goals
  • While access to data relevant to answering iwi issues/aspirations is important to support decision-making, these  data must be presented in a way that makes them meaningful, useful, and accessible  to iwi and Māori landowners

GIS is of interest, but the value of GIS to iwi is dependent on their capacity to use GIS tools, the costs to set up the software, access it, and train iwi members in its use.

This work was funded by Our Land and Water to develop methods for co-designing iwi-relevant decision-support tools and the decision-support tools themselves, which will then be available to other groups developing such tools for iwi and hapū.

These decision support tools will ultimately help enable iwi and hapū to explore innovative land uses to realise their social, environmental, economic-development, political and cultural aspirations.

Māori play a significant role in New Zealand’s primary sector economy, including the pastoral, horticultural, cropping and forest industries. The asset base of Māori enterprises in 2010 was at least $36.9 billion. Māori enterprises in agriculture alone carry 10-15% of national sheep and beef stock units, provide 8-10% of the national milk solids, and contributed about $0.7 billion to the NZ economy in 2010.

Identifying and addressing barriers to innovative land uses by Māori will increase the impact in these sectors for both Māori and non-Māori, ultimately making a significant contribution to New Zealand economic, environmental, social and cultural outcomes.

Early uptake is evidenced by Tony Dowling (CEO Te Runanga o Ngapuhi) working with the Mauri Whenua Ora programme to bring together a small team to contribute to further gap analysis, with respect to information central to Ngapuhi development. Extension of the work to the Bay of Plenty icurrently underway will provide learnings for its national application.

For more on this research project, see Mauri Whenua Ora

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Weave Digital Studio

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