Intention and Implementation: Piecing Together Provisions for Māori in the Resource Management Act 1991
Today, it is widely recognised that indigenous people have a valuable contribution to make to the development and practice of resource management. New Zealand legislation recognises in part the importance of Māori participation in resource management; however, there appears to be a considerable gap between the recognition of these rights and their effective and widespread implementation at ground level. This study explores the intentions behind, and the implementation of Section 33 transfers of power and Sections 36B-E joint management agreements, under the Resource Management Act, which support Māori participation in resource management decision-making. These provide for the devolution of power from local authorities to iwi authorities and the establishment of agreements to co-manage resources with iwi. A nationwide survey of local authorities’ use of the provisions demonstrated that they had been virtually unused. The majority of local authorities do not have any form of co-management agreements with Māori, and those that do have quite constrained arrangements which are designed to enhance consultation, rather than shared decision-making. The results of the survey are contrasted to findings from a series of semi-structured interviews with key informants involved in the crafting of the RMA, which examines the intentions behind the inclusion of these mechanisms in the legislation. The concept of institutional bricolage is used to help explain their creation and implementation, and the subsequent negotiation of the mechanisms and their alternatives by councils. The survey and interview results revealed that an intentional institutional bricolage approach was frequently employed by councils and iwi to negotiate co-management arrangements, but was not used in the crafting of the RMA co-management provisions. Instead, the provisions were a result of unintentional institutional bricolage, drawing on a range of structural and social influences.
Advisor: Stephenson, Janet; Bryant-Tokalau, Jenny
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Te Tumu
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: RMA; Maori; co-management; joint management; transfers of power; Resource Management Act 1991; iwi; resource management; joint management agreements; institutional bricolage; local government
Research Type: Thesis