Shared Spaces or Contested Places? Examining the role of Kāi Tahu Whānui in Port Chalmers and Bluff, 1848-2016.
Payne-Harker, Nyssa S.
Although it is clear that a variety of Kāi Tahu lifeways and environmental management practices persisted following the arrival of Pākehā in New Zealand to the present day, Pākehā histories have not always recognised these practices. Kāi Tahu are often written out of history except for a brief introduction to their presence prior to formal colonisation in the 19th century. While recognition increased as a result of claims made by iwi to the Waitangi Tribunal from the 1990s, and also through the passage of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), Māori lifeways remain comparatively invisible. Such invisibility has implications for how resource management is practiced under the RMA within a postcolonial context in which power geometries continue to privilege Pākehā resource management approaches. However, Kāi Tahu have persisted at key coastal sites such as ports. This thesis uses a comparative case study of Port Chalmers and Bluff to examine the continuation of Kāi Tahu lifeways and environmental management since the arrival of Pākehā. The research explores the extent to which Kāi Tahu shaped Port Chalmers and Bluff, the recognition of Kāi Tahu by local planning authorities prior to the RMA’s enactment and the way that Kāi Tahu in these ports have been framed and recognised under the RMA since 1991. The overall purpose of the research is to assess the persistence of Kāi Tahu at ports. The research methodology primarily involved archival analysis, complemented by a small number of interviews with Kāi Tahu resource management experts, observations of the ports and local museum exhibits and planning document analysis. The research revealed that Kāi Tahu were only able to shape the ports to a limited extent between 1848 and 1991. However, in order to understand the extent to which Kāi Tahu were able to shape the ports in this period, it is necessary to recognise that lifeways and resource management practices evolved dynamically, interacting in diverse and distinct ways within the colonial and postcolonial contexts. The research also indicated that local authorities have provided little response to Kāi Tahu lifeways. While some changes occurred under the RMA, it still fails to acknowledge the dynamic evolution of Kāi Tahu lifeways and resource management practices. This calls for a need to consider how Kāi Tahu lifeways can be effectively and appropriately incorporated into RMA processes in the future.
Advisor: Bond, Sophie; Stevens, Michael
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Department of Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Kāi Tahu; Port Chalmers; Bluff; planning; Māori resource management; colonial binaries
Research Type: Thesis