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Utilising the human dimensions of wildlife management approach to initiate an understanding of the ways in which New Zealanders value wildlife in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

This study was instigated by the lack of human dimensions research undertaken in New Zealand, and seeks to investigate the knowledge and values New Zealanders hold about New Zealand wildlife within three distinct groups of the New Zealand public. These groups were the Royal Forest and Bird Society of New Zealand Inc, the New Zealand Ecological Society (Inc.), and the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association. A questionnaire administered via Association list-serv's was utilised and a total of 52 questionnaires were completed by members of the three stakeholder groups. These were then analysed to investigate the values and knowledge New Zealanders hold toward wildlife in New Zealand. The findings of this study suggest that New Zealander's hold strong utilitarian and negativistic values toward wildlife while the humanistic, moralistic, and naturalistic values were expressed by the majority of respondents. This result could be due to the high level of respondents who were from the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association. Conversely, whiled the data suggests that New Zealander's hold the ecologistic/scientific value only weakly, overall they have a high level of factual knowledge about wildlife. Because of this, it may be suggested that wildlife managers should generate education programmes that specifically address the negativistic value by making them imaginative and interesting. Demographic factors were found to be influential in the ways in which New Zealander's value wildlife and the knowledge they hold although these were not as significant as indicated by studies undertaken in other countries. The lowest levels of knowledge were shown by respondents who were over 60 years of age; and higher income levels corresponded with the negativistic value being held more highly. Several areas of this study showed transgressions from other studies undertaken overseas. Unlike other studies, which suggested that females hold the naturalistic value more strongly than males, this study showed that both males and females held the naturalistic value only weakly. This indicates that findings from studies conducted overseas may not be transferable to the New Zealand situation and therefore, for New Zealand managers to effectively incorporate human dimensions information in decision-making processes, human dimensions research must be undertaken in the New Zealand context. Furthermore, wildlife managers should not make assumptions based on other studies and communities as these can lead to ineffective communication and implementation of wildlife management policies and education programmes.
Type of thesis
Cowie, S. J. (2006). Utilising the human dimensions of wildlife management approach to initiate an understanding of the ways in which New Zealanders value wildlife in Aotearoa, New Zealand. (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2262
The University of Waikato
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