Te Mauri o te Kaitiaki - Exploring Te Ao Māori in environmental relations and kaitiakitanga in Aotearoa New Zealand
Wareka, M.-L. (2020). Te Mauri o te Kaitiaki - Exploring Te Ao Māori in environmental relations and kaitiakitanga in Aotearoa New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13776
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13776
Indigenous environmental empowerment is on the rise as humans look at ways to slow the adverse effects of anthropogenic environmental degradation. In the context of Aotearoa New Zealand, the concept and practice of ‘kaitiaki’ and ‘kaitiakitanga’, respectfully, play a significant role in the co-existence of Māori with the natural world. Previous research shows the innate connections and responsibilities encompassed in being kaitiaki which extend beyond the human element to encompass nonhumans and spiritual manifestations. This research aims to illustrate how Māori use cultural values, concepts and practices in local-level conservational practices through ethnographic research in Matapōuri. I investigate the conflicts and convergences of a rāhui recently placed on two cultural significant areas to the local hapū, and through this, I analyse the practical and spiritual application of kaitiakitanga. Based on this ethnography, I discuss a model for relating environmental degradation with the wellbeing of Māori within Aotearoa New Zealand today. Here, I wish to highlight the ecological and cultural threats present from continuing in the current system. Lastly, I argue that the assertion of kaitiakitanga at the local-level is also an assertion of Indigenous autonomy for Māori and the environment.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses