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'Freedom’s Ramparts on The Sea': The postcolonial New Zealand landscape and the quest for sustainability

New Zealand’s colonial legacy has had a major impact on the shape of its landscape. The European settlement of New Zealand transformed both the land itself as well as the tenure arrangements that had hitherto followed traditional Maori practices. The increasing political influence of the modem conservation movement in New Zealand has been mirrored by a parallel rise in Maori engagement with environmental issues. Land tenure claims brought by the Maori under the 1970’s Treaty of Waitangi Act have enabled an alliance of Maori and environmental interests to be forged. This linkage however is very recent, and if the current unsustainable land use practices are to be mitigated in New Zealand, a synthesis of the essential elements in both cultural traditions is necessary. Culture shapes how people identify and evaluate elements of their environment, and influences their behaviour and experiences. At a more pragmatic level, culture provides the social infrastructure and institutions that determine how renewable land resources are used and managed. The authors highlight the links between postcolonial culture and landscape management in New Zealand, contrasting Pakeha-Maori points of view and attempting to mediate between these conflicting positions. These links are examined in the context of new social, economic and ecological forces that are shaping the country’s postcolonial landscape.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Morad, M & Jay, M. (2003). 'Freedom’s Ramparts on The Sea': The postcolonial New Zealand landscape and the quest for sustainability. British Review of New Zealand Studies, 14, 119-130.
New Zealand Studies Committee
This article has been published in the journal: British Review of New Zealand Studies. Used with Permission.