Restoring the flow: Challenging the existing management frameworks to integrate Mātauranga Māori
Hall, T. R. (2012). Restoring the flow: Challenging the existing management frameworks to integrate Mātauranga Māori (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6641
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6641
Within the context of the current regimes of fresh water management in Aotearoa, this thesis is an exploration of the significance of freshwater to Māori; our rangatiratanga, Treaty rights and ownership. The Māori world view and the way this relates to fresh water is described and contrasted with the principles and practices of water management in the contemporary neo-liberal governance structures of this country. The impacts of the commodification of water through ownership rights, the limited monitoring capacity and the inability to provide a governance structure that will work across diverse environments are seen to threaten the sustainability of a critical part of our environment. The primary focus of on this research is on the relationship between the exclusion of tangata whenua from decision making in resource management and the degradation of the environment. The thesis comments on the development of resource management legislation and actions of the state in Aotearoa, and uses post-colonial theory as a starting point to document the subordinate relationship of Māori within contemporary governance. This has privileged mono-cultural and neoliberal forms of water management that has scarred Papatūānuku and threatens human sustainability into the future. The recent co-management agreement for the Waikato River is the specific case study against which a recent effort to reduce the alienation of Māori is viewed. A kaupapa Māori methodology is used to acquire and understand the importance of mātauranga Māori/ Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and what is required for these principles to enhance water management practices within the case study area. The original contribution of the work is drawn from interviews conducted with Māori and others who are involved in or informed by the commitment to explore co-management sustainable management options. These views are woven into a substantial and interpretative commentary on the role of Māori in future water governance. The thesis argues that the best way to enhance water management and environmental protection is by inducing a planning paradigm shift where tangata whenua are given greater influence in environmental decision making that resembles an equal Treaty of Waitangi partnership, where the ethic of kaitiakitanga is empowered. Such a strategy would allow decision making regarding water and environmental management to be more focused on what is best for the resource and its survival rather than what most cost effective for some owners of water rights. Encouraging the acceptance of mātauranga Māori and incorporating more efficient and sustainable innovative technologies can restore the mauri of water in our place.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses