The appropriate use of Te Reo Maori in the names of new species discovered in Aotearoa New Zealand
Papa, J. W. (2012). The appropriate use of Te Reo Maori in the names of new species discovered in Aotearoa New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6481
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6481
Language is the key to understanding Ko te reo te taikura o te whakaao-mārama In this thesis I investigate the naming of new species that are being discovered in and around the waters of the coastline, across the vast landscape and in remote areas of Aotearoa New Zealand. These native species often endemic to Aotearoa New Zealand are often named with no reference to the native landscape and wear names that pay homage to or represent ancestors and traditions of another culture. Few of these species have been given scientific names that include Te Reo Māori and this study sought to explore why this was the case and how Te Reo Māori should be included in these names. This study investigated the background, methods and the knowledge associated with matauranga Māori and scientific naming protocols and how these could be incorporated into the naming of new species of Aotearoa New Zealand. Data were gathered from historical manuscripts that mention naming or classification of species in Aotearoa New Zealand, literature about classification, and eight interviews with people knowledgeable in the Māori and western scientific naming traditions of nomenclature and classification. The interview data was transcribed and analysed using these themes drawn both from the literature and the data. The study considered the rightful place of Māori knowledge and western scientific systems of naming new species, including the appropriate use of Te Reo Māori in a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand way. My findings indicate that the practice of naming species in Aotearoa New Zealand by scientists is governed by international protocols and that any incorporation of Te Reo Māori varied, and this variation depended on individual researchers that have developed their own method of using Te Reo Māori in the names of new species. The findings indicate however that Te Reo Māori is of utmost importance to a Māori cultural context and must be used appropriately for the benefit of future generations of Māori. In my conclusions I acknowledge the two systems of biological classification and matauranga Māori and their historical importance in the classification of species in Aotearoa New Zealand and on the international stage. I also recommend a set of guidelines derived from the research findings on the appropriate use of Te Reo Māori in naming new species.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses