E kore e mimiti te puna, ka koropupū, ka koropupū: An investigation into Māori participation in freshwater management in Taranaki
To many Māori communities throughout New Zealand, freshwater rivers and streams are highly revered and respected. However, in recent times, Māori are increasingly concerned that land-use practices such as dairy farming are becoming more intensive and are placing added stress on the quality of their local waterways. Māori have repeatedly advocated for their values and interests to be adequately recognised within formal processes responsible for managing and protecting freshwater. However, due to longstanding historical, political and cultural issues, Māori values and interests are usually met with very little acknowledgement. This thesis investigates the role of Māori in managing and protecting freshwater rivers and streams. The research for this project primarily focuses within the Taranaki region. The research will outline the extent of Māori involvement in freshwater management processes within this region and will identify any key barriers which are restricting Māori from active and effective involvement. The research also explores the potential of co-management arrangements relating to waterways to be established between Māori and the Taranaki Regional Council. These arrangements have gained considerable traction in New Zealand as a more participatory-centred alternative to conventional freshwater governance. This research adopts a solely qualitative, cross-cultural research design involving both Māori and non-Māori informants from a variety of backgrounds. By using this approach, the research finds that Māori in Taranaki currently participate at a low and insufficient level within freshwater management processes. However, this limited degree of participation is explained by several barriers such as a lack of capacity and capability, Council unwillingness and Treaty Settlements. These findings suggest the need for improvement via co-management, however, the research also reveals that Māori and the Taranaki Regional Council are not in a good position to establish and support effective co-management arrangements. In order to improve Māori participation in freshwater management in Taranaki, the research concludes that there needs to be a significant improvement in the nature of the current interaction and relationships between Māori and the Taranaki Regional Council.
Advisor: Thompson-Fawcett, Michelle
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Department of Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: freshwater; partcipation; co-management; Māori; indigenous; Taranaki
Research Type: Thesis