Te Toi Poto, Te Toi Roa A Critical Evaluation of Māori-State Inclusion in the Ohiwa Harbour Strategy, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Lowry, A. (2012). Te Toi Poto, Te Toi Roa A Critical Evaluation of Māori-State Inclusion in the Ohiwa Harbour Strategy, Aotearoa New Zealand. (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7040
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7040
In New Zealand, the State Owned Enterprises Act 1988 [SOE], Local Government Act 2002 [LGA], the Resource Management Act 1991 [RMA] require that government include the voices of Māori, and ensure their contribution to the decision-making processes of local authorities. Accordingly, central and local government have embraced the idea of inclusive partnership as part of policymaking processes informed by shared values both of government and iwi. Thus, it is not uncommon to see consultations, partnerships and engagement between Māori-state on a range of issues in line with Tikanga and protocols of Māori culture. These transitions reflect contemporary critical policy scholarship that underscores the need to include marginalised voices policymaking, specifically through processes that reflect diverse values. Termed here as ‘procedural inclusion’, these efforts are framed within the wider goal of participatory democracy as part of the efforts to realise an inclusive society. The present research is a critical evaluation of the inclusion of Māori in the processes of policymaking, especially when those processes have been especially designed to be culturally sensitive. This core objective is developed through the analysis of the case study of iwi/hapū-local government engagement in creating and implementing the Ohiwa Harbour Strategy in New Zealand’s Eastern Bay of Plenty region between 2002- 2008. The strategy engagement, which culminated in a long-term plan to manage and conserve the Ohiwa harbour, is uniquely positioned for this investigation. It is often regarded by its iwi/hapū and local government stakeholders as a success story in iwi/hapū-government engagement. Using a critical qualitative research methodology informed by kaupapa Māori, the study sought to critically evaluate this exemplar of procedural inclusion at multiple levels. At an operational policy level, the research identified the factors that either facilitated or inhibited Māori inclusion in the strategy development process. At another, more substantive level, the study explored the politics of this engagement, and if the goals of procedural inclusion could accommodate the transformative claims of self-determination and kaitiakitanga made by iwi/hapū. The analysis of interview data with key stakeholders and documents of the strategy process revealed that a range of factors enhance inclusive policymaking for Māori. At a practical level, legislative frameworks, commitment to Tikanga by all parties, and key strategic cultural brokers facilitated the inclusion of Māori, while limited capacity, fear of change and inter-tribal tensions hinder inclusion. The results also show, at another level, that the ability to productively participate in these engagement processes are framed by discursive politics – of the meanings and interpretations emanating from historical contexts, nature of power relationships, and of decisions regarding who represents whom and what is represented. In all, the study points to both advantages and limitations of procedural inclusion. Inclusive policymaking can open possibilities for better management of environmental resources, strengthening Māori political voice, and creating opportunities for livelihoods and with it greater economic and social inclusion. Equally, there are also limits of government-sponsored engagement. Māori inclusion in policymaking, while positive, does not deliver opportunities for self determination or rangatiratanga in keeping with the Treaty principles of partnership.
University of Waikato
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