Revitalise Te Taiao

Te Whakaora i Te Taiao

Place-based research to develop evidence-based examples of how agribusinesses and communities can make enduring changes in land use, management, value chains, and market focus to revitalise te Taiao

The Taiao Manawa Ora model guides this research programme. Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the inter-relationship of values, knowledge, and worldviews of tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti are at the centre. The outer ‘wings’ highlight the differences, and show connection across cultures to gather and share information as we move along our Te Taiao pathway.

Project Details Ngā taipitopito

Project Status:
Challenge funding:
Research duration:
January 2022 – June 2024

Collaborators Ngā haumi

AgResearch | AgriSea NZ Seaweed | Heather Collins Consulting | Kia Ora Media Marketing & PR | Mārama | Ngāti Tāwhirikura Hapū Trust | Paemi Ltd | Pahemata Ltd | Simon Stokes Consulting | WAI Wānaka

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What are we doing?E aha ana mātou?

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, nau mai piki mai kake mai ra ki te waka Taiao e toia nei ngā ohāki kia toitū te whenua, kia toiora te wai. Ko ngā tikanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi e paihere i te kaupapa whakarauora Taiao, kia eke panuku, kia eke tangaroa, te kaupapa rangahau o Revitalise te Taiao. Whai oranga mauri ora.

Food producers all over the world are facing connected challenges: the health of soil and water, climate change, and changing customer expectations. We can respond to these challenges in a uniquely Aotearoa way by implementing Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles in all efforts to help revitalise te Taiao – the land, water, climate, and biodiversity that contains and surrounds us all.

This research has pilots in three locations, working alongside agribusinesses and communities as they progress land-use change, work with value chains and connect with markets to revitalise te Taiao.

  • Wānaka-based project Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao, led by WAI Wānaka, has research goals that include expanding traditional farm plans beyond tools of regulation, to enhance the vitality of te Taiao.
  • Taranaki-based Te Kāhui Rau, led by Ngāti Tāwhirikura, aims to revitalise hapū whenua and whānau.
  • Based in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato, Rere ki Uta, Rere ki Tai is testing farming methods that aim to enhance the mana and mauri of the soil across 10 dairy farms, led by AgriSea New Zealand.

Agribusiness entrepreneurs and innovators will work side-by-side with scientists to revitalise te Taiao. Respecting that all knowledge starts as local knowledge, solutions will be tailored to fit the local context of production, economy, community, and environment.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles of partnership, participation and protection are central to this research.

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

  • Inspiring and practical examples of communities and agribusinesses moving along the pathway to revitalise te Taiao will be highlighted. The research will provide evidence to guide actions to enable other communities and agribusinesses to take a similar journey.
  • Agribusiness entrepreneurs and innovators will work side-by-side with scientists to progress te Taiao pathways, understand these journeys, and create change beyond the programme.
  • This programme aims to understand what land use, management, value chain and market opportunities can be identified if agribusinesses and communities begin with te Taiao. The work of the three pilots will be connected with value chains that are willing to put te Taiao at the centre, to explore whether this resonates with consumers and enables producers to gain a premium for their products.
  • The research team will develop principles for land-use change that enable agribusinesses, mana whenua, farmers, growers, and communities to take collective responsibility for revitalising te Taiao. External conditions that are needed to achieve widespread and significant change will also be identified.
  • The research will produce evidence of how specific markets respond to te Taiao narratives based on connection to people, place, and indigenous knowledge.
  • The research team will gather data from interviews, surveys, observation, and participation to understand the values, beliefs, and practices that underpin collective understanding, motivation, and action to revitalise te Taiao.

Participation & engagement Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

  • The motivation for change starts with ‘sense of place’, where people feel they belong. For Māori, farmers, growers, and community members, connections and whakapapa back to the whenua are interlinked with identity, health, and wellbeing. Partners in each of the three regional pilots include mana whenua, farmers and growers, agribusiness innovators and entrepreneurs, and researchers.
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles of partnership, participation and protection are guiding the implementation of the Revitalise Te Taiao research internally and with the three pilots (Ngā Kaiurungi Taiao), which include tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti.
  • The research embraces diversity of knowledge and ways of knowing within different worldviews. Revitalise Te Taiao is mātauranga-led, science-informed, te Taiao-inspired research. We respectfully incorporate te reo Māori me ona tikanga values in how we communicate and engage.
  • This research was established under terms that prioritised inclusion in the three pilots of Māori agribusiness and land management. Revitalise Te Taiao was co-designed and co-developed by 25 individuals from across Māori agribusiness, mātauranga Māori practitioners, scientists, researchers, community leaders, government and industry representatives.
  • Participants from Māori business and community members have a diverse range of skills and experience, including kaupapa Māori, Māori-centered and Māori-led initiatives and research; and mātauranga Māori with respect to land and freshwater-based sustainable business.

Research team Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

Programme Lead
James Turner
Implementation Lead
Richard Te Hurinui Jones
Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua, Ngati Maniapoto, Te Arawa
Implementation Lead
Simon Stokes
Simon Stokes Consulting
Project Administrator
Jessica Wholey
Communication & Engagement Lead
Renee Iosefa
Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Rārua
Te Ao Māori Lead
Taonui Campbell
Tainui, Ngati Maniapoto, Waikato, Ngāti Rōrā, Apakura, Tama-inu-po. Te Uriroroi, Ngāti Mahuta
AgriSea NZ Seaweed
Roxanne Henwood
Oriwa Tamahou
Ngāi Tūhoe, Waikato-Tainui, Tamakaimoana, Ngāi Te Paenga, Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Tāwhaki, Ngaati Rangiwahitu, Ngaati Tiipa
Heather Collins
Heather Collins Consulting

Tools & resources Ngā utauta me ngā rauemi


Taiao Manawa Ora: Purpose-led Change

This model (Taiao Manawa Ora: Purpose-led Change) was developed to guide partnerships between tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti. The model was developed to guide the…
View Model

Murray Hemi describes Te Tiriti model, Taiao Manawa Ora: Purpose-led Change

This short interview with Murray Hemi is to support understanding and use of the Taiao Manawa Ora: Purpose-led Change model. This model was developed to…
View Video

Academic outputs He whakaputanga ngaio

Journal Article

Reflecting on the journey of environmental farm planning in NZ

Environmental farm planning in New Zealand dates to the 1950s when soil conversation plans were first undertaken. Since then the extent and complexity of whole…
View Journal Article
Technical Report

Revitalising Te Taiao: How to co-design a place-based approach to support purposeful change and resilience

Aotearoa-New Zealand and international examples were reviewed by the project team with a range of criteria detailed to allow for an analysis of what were…
View Technical Report
Journal Article

Reshaping a farming culture through participatory extension: An institutional logics perspective

Participatory extension programmes influenced practices, beliefs and values underlying the learning logic (changing from a ‘linear’ to ‘multi-actor’ logic) and thus can help facilitate more…
View Journal Article
Journal Article

Navigating Institutional Challenges: Design to Enable Community Participation in Social Learning for Freshwater Planning

Social learning is a process suited to developing understanding and concerted action to tackle complex resource dilemmas, such as freshwater management. In practice, social learning…
View Journal Article

In the media Mai i te ao pāpaho

KPMG, 30 November 2022
See chapter 2: Growth from resilience – Insights into action.
Shepherdess, summer 2022-23
(link to come)

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