Early Māori Agricultural Entrepreneurship

Kia Whakatōmuri te Haere Whakamua

Culturally responsive reimagining of primary production based on traditional models of the past

Project Details Ngā taipitopito

Project Status:
Active
Challenge funding:
$129,800
Research duration:
July 2022 - March 2023

Collaborators Ngā haumi

AgFirst | AgResearch | Nga Uri o te Ngahere Trust | Te Rangatahi o te Whenua Trust

You are here: Home / Projects / ­ Early Māori Agricultural Entrepreneurship

What are we doing?E aha ana mātou?

Historical Māori land use practice was adapted to create unprecedented primary production and export success immediately after early European contact (1840–1864, the “golden years” of Māori agricultural entrepreneurship).

The cultural/social enterprise model for food production used by Māori enhanced community wellbeing and maintained the mauri of traditional ecosystems.

This project will produce a white paper exploring how this model could inform the creation of new production models that are socially responsive, non-exploitative, high-value and world-leading.

Māori elders will contribute through interviews about historical events, recognising rangatira rangahau and mana motuhake.

The research is supported by Kohimarama Aotearoa, a regional network of whenua Māori land blocks in regions of high socio-economic deprivation, with international reach across the Kohimarama / Global Research Alliance indigenous network.

How can the research be used? Ka pēhea e whai take ai te rangahau?

  • This project aims to inspire change in primary production through the adoption of mātauranga Māori. It will develop a framework to stimulate the use of traditional knowledge in farm planning to address current challenges in the industry.
  • By creating a shift in thinking towards ecological enhancement and values-based production, the brand value associated with a recalibrated production system will drive premium returns for the sector.
  • Supported by Ngati Porou’s Pakihiroa Farms, the research will be piloted in the East Cape / Tairawhiti region, impacting 150,000ha of whenua Māori and multiple marae and kura.
  • A white paper will describe how historical indigenous land use practice, which was adapted to create unprecedented primary production and export success within 35 years of first European contact, can be used to reconfigure industrial agriculture within Aotearoa, re-establishing its social licence to operate and significantly enhancing premium returns.

Research team Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

Science Lead / Te Ao Māori Lead
Garry Watson
Nga Uri o te Ngahere Trust
Matua Kevin Prime
Rangatira o Ngati Hine
Hilton Collier
Taiao Connect Ltd. & Pakihiroa Farms Ltd.
Taonui Campbell
Tainui, Ngati Maniapoto, Waikato, Ngāti Rōrā, Apakura, Tama-inu-po. Te Uriroroi, Ngāti Mahuta
AgriSea NZ Seaweed
Estelle Dominati
AgResearch

Incentives for Change Projects

The Matrix Of Drivers 2022 1200x800

The Matrix of Drivers

A foundational understanding of international and domestic drivers and issues, and their importance to the primary sector
View Project
New Models Of Collective Responsibility

New Models of Collective Responsibility

Developing new ways to strengthen the connection between people, land and water
View Project
Register Of Land Management

Register of Land Management Actions

What's been done? A national record of land management actions to improve water quality and restore catchments
View Project

Eutrophication Product Footprinting

Eutrophication indicators will help New Zealand agribusiness reduce environmental impacts and meet expected new European environmental standards
View Project

Reasons for Water Quality Improvement

Investigating the reasons for decreasing phosphorus concentrations in many waterways
View Project

Indicators Working Group

Investigating the use of indicators to help the primary and public sector meet local, national and international reporting requirements
View Project
Scroll to Top