Explanation: The main bureaucracies concerned with managing conservation and the environment have been frustratingly slow to involve Mäori more in actual decision-making and policy formation. Perhaps this relates to a fear of change, confusion about what to do, a bureaucratic stodginess, or even institutionalised racism? One thing is for sure - several bureaucrats are not talking about what it is at the core of this issue - a sharing of power with Mäori. The workshop discussed what blocks change in bureaucracies and especially how these blocks can be removed.
Kia ora kua tae mai i tenei wa. Tënä hoki tatou tënä koutou. Actually I really should not be doing this. It is a pet subject of mine, but never mind. We felt that a number of changes were needed.
Legislation is written to do certain things. It creates rules and a pathway on how you manage or do things. The legislation may be okay, it may open a pathway to change, but it may also be the interpretation of that legislation that changes the direction of the pathway. So, for iwi, the difficulty is sometimes with who interprets the legislation or how it is interpreted. In the end it comes back to the Treaty of Waitangi. It is featured in most environmental legislation today - it took much of my lifetime to get in there. But even when the Treaty is part of the legislation it is sometimes not interpreted to reflect what the Treaty really means. They just talk in terms of the principles of the Treaty. In 1990 there was a wonderful document put out about the principles of the Treaty but unfortunately it never found its way into modern legislation. It still has not found its way there. Some bureaucracies do have bicultural principles. Even the Ngäi Tahu legislation has a Treaty principle within it. Section 4 of the Ngäi Tahu Act says that Te Rünanga o Ngäi Tahu must act in a manner consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is a common statement in several other pieces of legislation. So the issue is less about legislation and more about its interpretation.
The other thing that blocks change in bureaucracies is its structures. The bureaucracy should be a structured in such a way that it delivers the legislated promises. But for iwi Mäori, the bureaucracy within the structure becomes a block. So we looked at how we could change structures. We felt that iwi Mäori need to be informed or be a vocal part of the structure. I will relate it to councils as I think that is where the körero came out of. Councils are a nominated body and their members are voted on in a democratic way. Unfortunately for Mäori, democracy fails because it is based on population numbers. If I was to stand to be a counsellor where I come from, where Mäori make up a very minor part of the population, I would have to be hellish influential on the rest of the community to get a place on the council. One way to change bureaucracy would be to have a seat reserved for representation of Mäori within the bureaucratic structures. But at the end of the day, a small representation of iwi Mäori is considered to be lip service to Treaty principles by some of us.
We also saw policies as the other potential block to change within bureaucracies. Policies coming out of a non-Mäori oriented bureaucracy do not always interpret or present what iwi Mäori would like in terms of how the legislation should operate. In many cases iwi Mäori do not have a full face-to-face interactions with the people who produce the policy until the policy is already finalised and in operation. I was listening yesterday to the whaakaro about the policies becoming something that we as iwi Mäori have to react too. So we have been reactive to other people’s policy all the time. What I was hearing clearly was that we need to be there within the bureaucracies so that the policy is structured in such a way that we as iwi Mäori do not have to be reactive to done deals all the time.
I have not seen too much legislation in the past that reflects the concerns or the aspirations of iwi Mäori. I can refer to the Conservation Act that says things about the customary right to fish. But that is all it says - there is no interpretation on what that section means. It just says “Nothing in this Act will affect the customary fishery rights”, but in real terms it does affect those rights. If I was to go and catch whitebait in January, the person interpreting the legislation would say I am sinning under the Conservation Act, but the Conservation Act says “Nothing in this Act will affect the customary fishery right.” The legislation did not interpret what that customary fishery right was.
It is the same as section 88(2) was in the Fisheries Act. Exactly the same piece of legislation fell into the Conservation Act in 1987, but was not removed when they removed it out of the Fisheries Act by creating the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Settlement Act.
The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Settlement Act did determine what was the customary fishery right. So there is a piece of legislation that we had a little bit of input into - it has had the aspirations of our people recognised. Not all our people agree to it, but we interpreted that piece of legislation in our favour. Nobody else did it for us. We did it ourselves. That is the main way we can change and remove blocks. We have to influence interpretation and how the legislation refers to iwi Mäori.
One key to bring about change is education. Iwi Mäori need to educate the bureaucracy to change their culture, the thinking within their bureaucracy. We have had some success with the Ministry of Fisheries in this. First we attempted to come from the bottom-up. We looked at our association with the Regional Office. But when it got to Wellington, iwi perspectives all went out the door. So we abandoned that approach. Next we went to Wellington first, direct to the Minister. When we got direct access to the Minister, we got access to the CEO, senior managers, down to the region and then down to the local people. We had to change their culture - and I understand that there opportunities to do that in the conservation area as well, if we can find the intestinal fortitude to actually get in there and do it.
So it is not just bureaucracy that has to pick this kaupapa up - so too do iwi Mäori. We have to educate the politicians in terms of the Treaty. The bureaucracies in many cases see the Treaty as a relationship between iwi Mäori and every New Zealander. Kaore! The relationship in terms of the Treaty is directly with the Crown. It is up to the Crown to nurture that relationship with iwi Mäori and put in place policy or legislation that will feed downstream so that the rest of the nation can have those things that they value protected within the Treaty. Article 3 in the Treaty said that we as iwi Mäori should be treated the same as every other British citizen. So it is about that interpretation. We actually have to get to the point where the Crown realises its relationship with Mäori. Then that relationship must be transferred right through all of bureaucracies that are based under the mantel of the Crown.
We should not have to be entering into discussion or dialogue with all and sundry on things that are rightfully ours to deal with directly with the Crown. The Crown should be picking up what we are saying and then taking it to their constituents, saying “This is what iwi Mäori are saying” and working through it that way, not the other way round. So that is the political, cultural change that is necessary in bureaucracy.
I think we have heard a lot about values this weekend. We all have values and we all have vision. But sometimes, although we are all actually thinking along the same lines, we are looking at each other sideways. That is a purely political issue as well and a bureaucratic issue because it impinges on the culture of that society. I am not just defending iwi Mäori, because it is a problem is in our culture too. So when we are discussing changes, each must retain their values, but each must also walk - we must move the values and the visions together, so we are actually walking together.
I have heard some wonderful things said this weekend and that is great. But if those messages do not get to the bureaucracy, to the policy makers at a high level, or even to the Government, then all this wind that we have been letting off this weekend has been a waste of time. We have to change the bureaucratic world.
One of the things I fear is that iwi Mäori will build its own bureaucratic processes too. Whilst we have got our marae maha it will not happen too much, because the marae has its own tikanga. The word tika is about the things that are right. That is why we are able to function. We can discuss things in this wharenui. But it has a process after that. Bureaucracy does too. But bureaucracy is usually driven by a few policies derived from a few heads sitting in a small room - and then we are expected to comply with the legislation and the policies that come out of it.
One of the other things discussed in our workshop was the expectation of iwi Mäori to participate in the bureaucracies. However, we have few people on the ground and we are limited in resources. Many of us hold down jobs and cannot devote all our time to iwi issues. Iwi cannot and will not meet all the demands put on them by bureaucracies and so it comes back to the bureaucracy to pull in people from the iwi to fill the gaps. So the last statement we need to make is that, because we are heavily in demand, we have become just a reactive people. If we have got to react all the time, then the bureaucracy does not help us at all even if they are trying to involve us.
No reira, aku mihi ki a koutou kua tae mai. Tënä te mihi aroha ki a koutou. Tënä koutou.
[There was no question time following this workshop]
Ken MacAnergney (Spokesperson for the group)
Explanation: Local governments, land-owners, developers, members of the NGOs and the general public contain a group of people set against bicultural management of conservation and the environment. The group discussed how best to shift their opposition to support.
We were a group of nine, including people who were involved in District and Regional Councils affairs. We had a councillor in our group. We had a CEO from a major employer in the Fiordland area. We also had a person who had worked in the Ministry of Fisheries in an administrative position, and two researchers, an educator, and myself. I am a planner in aviation and airport management.
Our topic was very broad so we went around the group and got everybody to give their interpretation of the topic. We had a lot of very similar experiences which we have summarised here.
____________________________ (Overhead) __________________________
This workshop identified these problems
We identified the following conservative attitudes. Firstly, we identified resistance to change in the bureaucracy. There is a reluctance for people in the bureaucracy to step outside of their comfort zone. They felt comfortable when they were constrained, or thought they were constrained by rules and regulations and policies within their organisations that prevented moves to biculturalism. Secondly there was also a perception amongst some in decision making positions, that Mäori were getting too much of a good deal and are getting a better deal than the rest of the population. Thirdly, we felt that there was a negative attitude from the scientific community toward very long held tenants by Mäori that have come down from observations over many, many years. Scientists are not happy about that because it is not all written down. Quite often the Mäori people tell the scientists, “Well we already knew that. You didn’t ask us.” Fourthly, there was a lack of education in the bureaucracy about what Mäori issues were and what the perceptions of Mäori were in dealing with certain matters. We were very concerned that in a lot of organisations there seemed to be a lack of Mäori staff suitably qualified to assist with interpretation of issues. Fifthly, we also felt that sometimes there were poor group dynamics in committee situations where some people take over and others won’t speak up and they have their separate meeting outside of the committee afterwards and moan and groan about what was not achieved.
____________________________ (Overhead) __________________________
So what actions could be taken to put some of these issues to rights. Firstly, we decided that we needed to educate people in decision-making positions and we needed to start at both the top and the bottom. We felt that we should be targeting the CEOs of major organisations. We also felt that we needed to target this education process about the Mäori perspective into the very young, those still at schools. Then we felt that there would be a trickle down from the top and a growth up from the bottom. In time it would meet in the middle. We thought that that could probably be achieved fairly quickly. We felt that we should be able to start now and that we should have a list of major organisations and put a tick beside each organisation that has had their chief executive taken out of his office, probably taken onto a marae like this for a weekend, and given a very strong message about Mäori issues.
Now, in terms of education, we believe that that is starting but there needs to be more funding and it should be being done right across the whole education system, in every school. Mäori perspectives and Mäori issues need to be identified. One of the things we felt was that there should be funding from territorial authorities for iwi groups in their areas to deal with resource management issues. We believe that Southland’s Te Ao Marama model is very good. I have just had an experience of it. About a week ago, I had to get a neighbour’s consent from the local iwi and it went to the Te Ao Marama group which operates here in Invercargill. It is funded by the Southland District Council, the Southland Regional Council, I think the Invercargill City Council and I think a Council that may be centred out around Gore. The iwi have put a system in place which deals efficiently with resource consent issues. That removes a lot of the anger and concerns that Mäori are getting a better deal, that type of syndrome. So we congratulate those councils and those councillors for their farsighted vision and believe that that model should be transportable throughout the rest of the country.
We felt that there should be suitably qualified and informed Mäori staff in all major organisations. How to achieve that could be difficult. There could be some built in prejudices against that. But I think that there is a belief that it is inevitable and we should be starting to do that now with the enlightened organisations where we have taken the CEOs aside and given them a good injection of the Mäori issue matters. We felt that there needs to be - and we have reduced this down to some very simple words - ‘Mainstream Mäori in all Media.’ By that we mean that Mäori issues (both good and bad) should be part of the mainstream in all media. For a bit of light reading, I picked up some copies of the Titi Times. There are some wonderful stories in there. Now successes like those should regularly be exposed to the general population by way of the printed media and the broadcast media, both television and radio.
Questions and Comments
Graham Metzger (Awarua Runaka)
I would like to pick up on where you were with the Te Ao Marama business and the funding. I have cobbers who are farmers that get billed for the processing of their consent applications - it is a bill for Mäori processing the applications. All the others, the councillors and everybody else who were elected, are paid out of the rates. However, Te Ao Marama work is billed on a separate account.
Michael Skerrett (Te Ao Marama) - Kia ora tatou. How it works is that the councils are required to consult with iwi on lots of things; plans, policies and all that sort of thing. That is what their funding is for. The Councils see the resource consent process as ‘user pays’ and so they won’t pay towards the cost of Te Ao Marama for providing that service.
TM - It should come out of the rates. It should not be a separate account that goes out to pay for the conservation.
MS - Yes, but that is not the way the Councils see it.
TM - Why not? The way that it is being funded at the present time is putting the people against you and Mäori. It is a separate account and there are a lot of my mates out there that have sent me these accounts. What are we doing about this? Mäori are being paid to do their own job. We do not pay our councillors any extra. It comes out of the rates, okay.
MS - In fact they are subsidising it to a certain extent because we only collect about $10 000 a year in charges on consents. We are trying to be as reasonable as we can. However it is like when the Council processes consents, they do not do it for nothing, they charge for it. It is a user pays thing. They said the same for our part of the process. They will not fund our involvement at this stage. We are continually looking for other sources of income to provide that service.
TM - Okay. You are working to the Pakeha law.
Sam Zirnhelt (School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, and Spokesperson for the group)
Explanation: Even if there is the will on all sides to share power with Mäori on environmental decision-making, somehow they need the vehicles and the petrol to put in them, to say nothing of computers and libraries, training (in Kaitiakitanga and/or ecology) etc. Tell us how we can facilitate ‘capacity building’ amongst iwi and hapü and the kawanatanga agencies currently pursuing a predominantly monocultural approach?
One of the points that came up in our discussion was that there was no natural forum for discussing this issue. I think that we have found that out when confronting our difficulty with coming up with the type of recommendations that we were intending: smart, sensible, action-orientated types of recommendations.
We identified a series of frustrations and limitations to capacity building and then we came up with a number of possible solutions. One point was that many of the old principles from previous Acts are still embodied in newer statutes such as the Resource Management Act. This often leads to situations where the tangata whenua must expend significant effort to be familiar with the administration of the Acts such as the RMA. The venues for consultation provided by Acts and agencies often require the tangata whenua to explain themselves in Pakeha terms that fit with western economic and scientific paradigms. Within that framework, the Pakeha are often the decision-makers. These points lead to frustration when Mäori organisations are expected to have knowledge across a range of issues from forestry, fisheries, agriculture, marine. In this case and in other respects, there needs to be capacity building within both the tangata whenua and also within the Government Departments. These agencies can then develop more realistic expectations of what they are asking from Mäori counterparts who are often not paid for their time. That is a situation that often leads to exhaustion. Somebody said that people get “huied out”. Sometimes those costs, in terms of personal investment, are on both sides, especially if we are talking about a partnership such as the Titi project.
We came up with a few potential solutions. One that is already been mentioned was Council funding for iwi participation in looking to models or adaptations of models like with the Southland Council. Another suggestion was that the tangata whenua should be able to charge councils for resource consented advice, and/or to perform projects for them by securing contracts for that work. One example that might help with the implementation of those models is the example where DoC have a one week training programme for employees on how to work more effectively with Mäori. Perhaps that could be taken to other agencies and adopted there.
Another point was that regular contact between agencies and the local people might allow for more proactive efforts. Regular meetings might provide for more relationship building and more strategic efforts and might increase efficiency of the interactions. One example was having numerous agencies and groups come to sit at the same meeting; that is, have some university and different agencies come to the scheduled bi-monthly meetings with tangata whenua, so we can kill several birds with one stone.
Another issue is that people need to know the decision-making processes that exist and how to access them. Again regular meetings might help with this. Getting rünanga back to the land, and re-association and re-affirmation of values that might help to rebuild the conservation ethic on both sides, amongst Pakeha and Mäori. However, the point was also brought up that there were few opportunities for involvement with the environment that might achieve that. It was recommended that people focus on small, feasible, grassroots projects such as help trap setting, plantations, and restoration.
We also discussed the issue that the RMA has a requirement for Mäori participation. One model that was suggested was that used by the Kaikoura District panels, who have seats for tangata whenua. That provides a forum where Mäori are to be asked about their strategic priorities rather than just to respond to consent applications.
Councils need to give clear criteria for what constitutes a notified consent versus a non-notified consent. Apparently Ngäi Tahu have a model within their agreement that provides for mandatory notification. Better use could be made of the existing capacity of tangata whenua by better dovetailing with established meeting times and so on. For example consents should go out two to three days ahead of a previously scheduled meeting, not a couple of days behind so that you have to wait several months to get the responses back.
I think those were the key points.
Peter Horsley (Another member of the group)
The Wellington Regional Council have just come up with a protocol that lists Mäori Commissioners and they will be on every resource consent panel as decision-makers.
John Kape (Another member of the discussion group)
It was an excellent summary. My additional point concerns notification of consents. In some cases there are consents where the Councils are not notifying where there are significant tangata whenua impacts, for example, on wahi tapu. Our discussion was around whether there should be some legislative requirement for councils to notify tangata whenua of consents. There is a related issue about who actually is tangata whenua and whether they actually want to participate. Another point was about participation in Court cases and resourcing tangata whenua’s participation. Perhaps some kind of fund could be made available to allow Mäori environmental advocates to participate in legal cases. I would like to emphasise the point that Sam has made about the value of having regular forums between agencies where they sit down and talk on perhaps a monthly basis so there are no surprises. This will allow an ongoing dialogue and opportunity for agencies to start identifying Mäori priorities rather than this constant stream of ‘here’s a consent application, now respond to it.'
Explanation: Some conservation NGOs actively oppose transfer of strong co-management responsibilities by Mäori. They remain predominantly monocultural in leadership, philosophy and membership. How can we encourage them to change?
We talked about whether we need change to increase biculturalism in NGOs and what we mean by introducing change. It boiled down to changing peoples' attitudes, because there may be Mäori representation in membership of some NGOs but often that was not reflected in the policies or the endorsements of the leadership of those organisations.
We also discussed what we meant by NGOs. There were some people in the group who belonged to NGOs that did not like that title and they preferred that we limit most of our discussion to environmental or conservation groups. This is because an NGOs can cover very broad topics and can include very diverse groups. So we decided that we could probably achieve more by limiting our discussion to the conservation side of things.
One particular conclusion was that we should not be afraid of people’s differences. We should welcome differences, rather than seeing them as a threat. If we have differences, the most important thing we need to do is to improve communication, and the way we do that is very important. Communication between groups often reflects communication between individuals. So if we have an aggressive confrontation with a group, their response is going to be similar to an aggressive confrontation to an individual. Their initial response is probably going to be defensive. So we can probably achieve a lot more by being more open and initiating more low key or more open dialogue.
We decided that a lot of the resistance to change reflects fear of the unknown.
Identification of areas of common interest will allow people to work better together rather than always being in conflict. Improving working relationships between Mäori and Fish and Game was given as an example. Mäori and some of the institutional organisations have been able to work better together where they have identified things in common that they want to achieve.
______________________ (Overhead) __________________________
Key Outcome: That this hui urges a meeting between Iwi and conservation NGOs to address biculturalism.
We need to act our way into new thinking
We then went on to talk about criteria for success, and three issues came up:
Firstly, communication was identified as the key thing for people to be able to work together. People need to be able to communicate and that comes back to a lot of the first things I said about not being afraid of differences and being willing to accept that we may need some change. We also talked about the need to incorporate more education on these issues in schools and in the community.
The next criterion for success was improved understanding the Treaty. Our group felt that for the general population in New Zealand, there is a very low understanding of what the Treaty actually means. Someone in our group suggested that probably 80% of New Zealanders really do not have a good idea of what the Treaty means and what the real issues surrounding it are. That is probably a very true but a very sad fact. Because there is not a general good understanding of what the Treaty is and what it means, often it distances people. The Treaty is often talked about and it is often used in the legislation or in other ways to say that people should do certain things, but really there is not a good understanding of what it actually means. This is partly because the meaning of the Treaty has not been very well defined by the Crown - that adds fear on both sides because nobody is very sure about how it is going to be interpreted in the end. We need to introduce the topic into the school curriculum so that a much better understanding of what the Treaty means eventually grows in the general population. That will reduce fears. It was a general feeling in our group that the Treaty should not be a threat. It is a relatively simple thing. It is not a long document. We should be able to understand it. That really is a definite need.
The key outcome from our discussion was that we suggest that there be meetings between the heads of some of the conservation or environmental groups and Mäori. We can use that as a starting point to improve the understanding on what biculturalism is and how we can increase communication. Rather than just talking about what we should be doing, we should actually get out there and do it.
Kia ora tatou. I just want to endorse what Christine just said. What we would like to see as a positive outcome of this hui is a meeting between the heads of Ngäi Tahu in this case and some of the NGOs. In fact Keith Chapple is the Chairman of Forest and Bird, was here yesterday. He said he would be keen for a meeting to be initiated, probably from Ngäi Tahu themselves, to meet these other organisations. I was also speaking to Maurice Rodway of Fish and Game and he is keen for that sort of meeting too. Is everybody in agreement with that? No one against! We can take it as an endorsed recommendation then. Kia ora.
[There was no time given to questions and comment after this presentation]
Explanation: Recently there has been widespread debate about different cultural views on the safety and ethics of genetic modification. A Royal Commission has been established to hear views on the topic. It may be that this issue precipitates a more general debate on Mäori and non-Mäori views of the environment and roles of scientists. What needs to happen to help the debate?
Kia ora. Initially I attempted to explain exactly what genetic engineering is in relation to traditional forms of plant selection and plant breeding. I used as an example the way that Mäori women had over the millennia selected varieties of harakeke for particular purposes. This certainly was not genetic engineering. One of the things that I have been aware of in the general discussion of genetic engineering is there has been fudging of the terminology. In some cases I believe it to be deliberate. In other cases I believe it to reflect ignorance. Either way, it is very confusing. I thought it was very important to begin by being quite clear on what we were talking about. Genetic engineering is when you take some of the DNA of one organism and implant it into another. Under the HSNO Act that immediately makes it a ‘New Organism’.
ERMA (the authority that makes decisions on these things now, and has been operating for about two years) makes decisions on New Organisms coming into this country. That includes something that might be imported for biological control and also in the laboratory. You might be aware of the raruraru that was going on in the newspapers a while ago about genetic engineering within laboratories for DNA research. It concerned experiments just to study the DNA, where the DNA of one organism is put inside a bacterium so that bacterium used as a type of ‘factory’ for multiplying up that DNA to generate sufficient material for it to be analysed. That is the creation of a New Organism under the Act, and approval was needed for those experiments. ERMA had delegated authority to Biological Safety Committees around the country at various institutions like universities and research establishments. These Committees had the authority to approve the laboratory work that would have been essentially simply just multiplying up DNA. Part of the rarururu that irrupted was that many scientists were shown to be ignorant of the Act with respect to the fact that they were creating New Organisms and so they needed to have approval. You know that under our law ignorance is no defence. The feedback that I have had from Mäori people on this issue is that they no longer trust the scientists. So lack of trust is now part of the issue.
But also its no good scientists going to the newspaper and accusing ERMA of vilifying them when they (1) have not bothered to look at the law (because after all ERMA is only carrying out what Parliament has already put in place) and, (2) they are not actually listening to what people are saying. So I guess all I would say to any scientists present here is you need to think very carefully about what you are doing, why you are doing it and polish up your act.
Then we had a discussion about GE food. Engineering of food and food products is a topic dear to many people in New Zealand. But this is not the responsibility of ERMA. Under our current legislation, and our general agreement of trade between Australia and New Zealand, it is the responsibility of an organisation known as ANZFA, the Australian New Zealand Food Authority. It was set to enable free transport of food backwards and forwards between the two countries across the Tasman. So we aimed to have the same food quality and quantity assurances and make joint decisions. I was asked what sort of representation did Mäori have on ANZFA. I could report that there had been a hui of Mäori organisations at Whaiwhetu a few months ago and ANZFA was looking to obtain some form of Mäori input. I was then asked whether the Aboriginal people in Australia were being consulted, and I am afraid I could not answer that one.
__________________________ (Overhead) __________________________
Issues for Mäori in the Application of GMOs (Overhead)
Resources for consultation are the responsibility of the company/agency wanting to introduce a GMO. Such funding does not guarantee a positive outcome for that company/agency.
One thing very apparent from our discussions is that a whole lot of the Mäori input to these kinds of decisions can hinge on the decisions that come out from the Waitangi Tribunal on the WAI 262 claim. I remind you all that it really does not matter what the Waitangi Tribunal eventually says about WAI262, as the Government is not bound in any way to take the advice of the Waitangi Tribunal. You know well, and you have heard me talk of such experiences here at this hui, that the advice of Mäori Committees is often not taken by the Government. But we asked the government to hear that it was really important that the hearings of WAI 262 be completed. We felt, as Del has just reminded me, that it is important that the WAI 262 hearing should be finished before the Royal Commission on GE that has just been set up makes its decision. Otherwise it is putting carts before horses. But of course you can control the cart better if you wheel it yourself and do not worry about the horse.
One of the things that was important to me as a member of Nga Kaihautu was to hear how people felt consultation with Mäori should happen. It seemed to be very clear to me that it was very important that the hapu be the unit that is consulted. Some hapu are well organised and they have rünanga. Let me give an example. If someone within Ngäi Tahu whanui rohe is doing experiments of this nature, they can contact TRONT (Te Rünanga o Ngäi Tahu). TRONT will ensure that the right people are contacted. You are really lucky here in the South Island. For anyone from the Research Institutes within Ngäi Tahu Rohe there is a very good system to enable you to have some form of consultation that the people themselves will feel is appropriate. In the North Island, it is not so easy. Defining and instigating appropriate consultation is an ongoing process and something that ERMA is addressing.
Another issue that came up towards the end of our workshop was the financial cost incurred by people to be heard. For example, the cost of Ngäti Wai coming to Wellington for an ERMA hearing was too great so they were unable to be present. They did not have the resources to participate. There was a very firm körero from our group that ‘if anyone wants to introduce anything into this country and they wish to consult with people, whoever they are, they should pay for that consultation and all that is required for it.’ Furthermore, this must be irrespective of positive outcome for that company. People have the right to have their fares paid for the consultation, even for them to stand up and say no.
Del Wihongi has also reminded me that if we consent to labelling, we actually consent to the process of genetic engineering. So that if you say yes, it is okay provided it is all labelled, you’re also saying, “Yes its okay for genetic engineering to go ahead. I just want to know about it so I do not have to buy the products.”
Question/Comment (Del Wihongi)
Murray, have they done any research on the effects of genetically modified foods say 20 or 50 years down the line? Also, how do mothers feel about their children being fed GM foods?
MP - Well I can answer the first bit. Fifty years has not gone past since genetic engineering started, so that research cannot have been done. As a father I am unable to speak for the mothers. However, as a parent I am not particularly happy putting food into my childrens’ mouths that I cannot guarantee the health of. I have not yet heard any evidence that it is really healthy.
I go back to things like thalidomide. It was considered really healthy for pregnant mums to use pills of thalidomide and we know what happened to them. Or I hear stories on the Internet where they are discovering that these plastics that are wrapped around food, that we have been assured are inert, are in fact mimicking female hormones. Pop your food inside and nuke it within plastic in a microwave and you might possibly be taking in molecules of plastic into your system that are actually going to change the hormonal balance of your body. Plastic smells, something’s coming off it. What does this mean? I have no idea, except I know hormones are something to do with reproduction and they are something to do with the collapse of bones in old age. So where is the research that is going along to ensure that plastic is safe? Another example that I would mention concerns the artificial sweetener Aspartamine. It is sold in the shops for those who are really calorie conscious. There is ample evidence now that it is linked directly to multiple sclerosis. The difficulty is there is such a time lag between use and evidence of safety that it is not a one to one situation in debates about whether to proceed and use or not. Kia ora.
Question/Comment (Oliver Sutherland, Deputy Chairman of ERMA)
Tënä ano tatou katoa. I just wanted to stand up and tautoko in support of what Murray has just said and to repeat a point I made yesterday. I think that the whole issue of development of GMOs and genetic engineering is rising to be one of the huge impediments to the development of any sort of a relationship between Mäori and the science community. The onus is on the science community to start to bridge that gap in ways that Kaylynn TwoTrees was elaborating to us in her talk. Scientists have a great deal of work to do in the Mäori community if they are ever going to get the trust back of people who feel that they have no idea and no trust in what scientists are doing in that whole GMO area. Kia ora koutou.
Question/Comment (Shaun Weaver)
Kia ora. Murray, I just wanted to ask a question in relation to the assessment of the safety of things like genetically modified organisms and foods, but also with particular reference to the ethical questions that surround this issue. One thing that concerns me is that the decisions that are being made in places like ERMA seem to me to be mostly technical in orientation. I am wondering whether you believe that ERMA has the capacity or the authority to make ethical decisions. Biological scientists are not necessarily experts in ethics any more than perhaps you and I or tangata whenua or anyone else are. Could you please comment on that please?
MP - As a member of Nga Kaihautu, and knowing the members of the authority, all I can say is that there is no professional ethics advisor on the Authority. I would like to suggest that we all have a package of ethics, and that is really important. Whether my ethics are your ethics is a different issue. Whether Mäori ethics are the same as Pakeha ethics on the GE issue is part of the discussion. The first question is: are we heard? On either side: are we heard? No reira.
Question/Comment (Rachel Puentener)
Kia ora koutou. Ko Rachel Puentener taku ingoa. I am just speaking from a personal point of view here and not from Ngäi Tahu. But I really would like to express my support for the körero here. I think this is one issue where we do have a thing in common here throughout the country. I think as a Pakeha that it is a strong concern too. I have a real problem with the idea of genetic modification of things and I especially have a problem with decision-making happening on a scientific basis without ethical consideration. I think that iwi have a real strength from their sense of whakapapa and their reasoning behind it. I think we really need their voice to come out strongly. I think it is very important globally for the indigenous peoples’ voice to come out against GM. Kia ora.
Graeme Loh – Department of Conservation
A small group of 11 examined two parts of this question:
I will begin by illustrating the issue by describing the situation with crayfish in New Zealand. All the crayfish of Fiordland serve half of the Osaka market and there is very little crayfish available for the local people. This could result from it simply not being available in the shops because there is so much more money to be made selling overseas. But also it is because the fisheries stock is so depleted that there are too few crayfish for divers like me to gather them. Another example is oysters. Currently, they are only allowed to be sold in New Zealand because they contain high levels of cadmium pollution. But people are moving to have them made into an export market - already they are worth more than a $1.00 each. I am sure when they are exported, I will not be able to afford them and perhaps they will also then be further depleted, so I will not be able to dive for them either.
____________________________ (Overhead) __________________________
From that starting point, our group looked at the problems that globalisation might present to us in our use of resources. The central problem is removal of our access to resources that are part of our way of life. For me it is having real food like oysters straight out of the sea. For other people its having enough paua for a hui.
Aspects of the globalisation, like the Multilateral Investment Agreement, looked like they were going to have direct impact on WAI 262. We also have had land priced off the market for local people in some rural areas. First this happened because of a major market amongst urban New Zealanders for land as lifestyle blocks in rural areas, but now the demand is from overseas people.
These problems I have just mentioned highlight the difference between value and price. We simply cannot afford to pay German Marks for New Zealand crayfish, but we still value them very much. I get esteem amongst my whanau if I have managed to catch a crayfish, but there is a limit to how many dollars I would pay for that privilege. I simply do not earn so many dollars.
____________________________ (Overhead) __________________________
Things to be Protected
We looked at things that should be protected. Land came up as a principal one, but also water and air are important. They are currently not for sale in markets, or at least not properly in markets. We really believe that the resources should be available for our use first, the use of the residents of New Zealand.
We think that icons should be protected. We do not need to trade some of our natural material icons. We have plenty of sheep and pine trees to trade and other manufactured products.
We looked briefly at the ways things are protected other than by simple laws. At the moment we have some quite complex laws, ones that for instance prevent the export of unprocessed pounamu. We used to have the same for paua. Paua shells are now exported, processed in Asian countries and then sent back to New Zealand to be sold here as tourist trinkets. We have special rules to do with protecting whales. We have special rules to protect National Parks. We have planning controls. And then we have examples like the Titi Islands down south here, where the traditional owners have maintained control and have even wrestled even further control back from a reluctant Crown in recent times.
Globalisation claims to present other ways of protecting resources - for example carbon credits. The group was quite sceptical about that. We really do not believe that a market solution will lead to the equitable distribution of resources. The wealthy will end up with the carbon credits.
We looked at the way ahead and wondered if globalisation was inevitable. Several of us felt that it really was all pervasive. We would have to be able to stand in the way of a tide. They felt that maybe there is no alternative - which is the perspective that globalisation presents to us. But quite a few of us felt that even though it might be all pervasive and very powerful, we should struggle against it just like we should always struggle against greed and struggle against crime.
There are still quite a few people that do want a controlled economy, and who do want to be isolated from the so-called rigours of free trade. The group also felt that land should only be owned by residents - there should not be free ownership of land by foreigners and non-resident people. We do believe that materialism should be challenged.
So how do we get to where we want to be? We have got to challenge materialism. We have got to have a change of power. We need legislative change and that means we need to vote. The tool is democracy and maybe it can be expressed or further extended with the use of referenda. One thing that occurred to me after this workshop was that we actually have not had a democratic process where we have approved of free trade, where we have approved of globalisation, where we have approved on the Multilateral Investment Agreement. That is one thing we have morally on our side - our Government is negotiating without clear authority from the community on these issues.
Another way ahead is to learn from the examples of success that we have with small projects like the Titi project where we actually do build good ways of working with the local resources for our own purposes. And then there is the other example of the power of success where many indigenous people and conservation groups and social movement people protested at Seattle - those protests have led to the shelving of the Multilateral Investment Agreement and have slowed down some of the further steps of the Free Trade Agreement.
But we must not rest too much because I have just been told by Sana Murray that some of the aspects of globalisation of the Multilateral Investment Agreement, and particularly the aspects which will affect the issues involved with WAI 262, will be back on the agenda at the South Pacific Forum in a couple of months time. So kia kaha. Stand strong.
Question/Comment (Tungia Baker, West Coast Kapiti)
I would like to comment about ownership of land by foreigners. If you fellas want to know about that sort of thing, ask the Mäori people. Its really interesting to see the number of Pakeha people in this country who are suddenly standing up with great agitation about foreigners owning our land. Ask Mäori people about how we can occupy this space comfortably with foreigners. We have done it very successfully for 160 years. If what we are worried about is foreign ownership of land, which is a particularly useful benchmark of globalisation, ask the Mäori people how we did it.
But anyway, a question. How many people in this room use the worldwide web? Okay. How many of you would be prepared to stop using www? Okay. I say to the rest of you, www is globalisation. I think its really important to bring the messages about globalisation to this country so that we are able to make some intelligent decisions about the tools of democracy, referenda and the power of examples of success. I would recommend that everybody listen to the documentary series called “Ape to Super Species” by David Suzuki. I would also absolutely recommend that everybody get a copy of this year’s ‘Reap Lectures on Globalisation’ so that it puts you in a position of being able to make some intelligent decisions about the effects of globalisation. Kia ora.
GL - Kia ora. Yes, I would certainly support
use of the example of the history of Mäori resistance to
occupation as a lesson to all of us. To all those Pakeha that are worried about Mäori land, I say
“Well, just look at your relationship with foreign investors and the Mäori’s
relationship with us.” There are great similarities.
Question/Comment (Jane Davis, Oraka-Aparima Runaka)
not know whether you realise, but pounamu within the rohe
of Ngäi Tahu belongs to Ngäi Tahu. We will make the decision on
what happens to it. We have held a series of meetings
with interested parties and we are listening to what people have to say, but
that final decision will be made by us. What is in our rohe is
ours. Kia ora.
Question/Comment (Melanie Eccles)
I do not normally take the microphone but I would just like to make an important point. Each of us as individuals can curb globalisation with our buying power. For example, we should not buy products that are made in China and all those sort of things that promote children working in factories. We need to focus on our communities and support those who produce food and things like that.
Question/Comment (Erina Rewi, Rakiura Mäori)
Kia ora for your körero on globalisation. My background is in health. Globalisation is a huge issue that we are trying to deal with within health systems. We really need to be clear about globalisation - it is another form of colonisation. It happens first by resource, and then by people. We see more and more United States textbooks being put in front of us from which we are expected to compare our resource management and health approaches. When we look at globalisation from a New Zealand context we need to own our identity. There is always this hara or this raruraru between New Zealand Pakeha and New Zealand Mäori people. You can’t take from us what we have, particularly down this end of the woods. For Pakeha New Zealanders to be more informed about this process of globalisation, they have to sit down and discuss their identity. Globalisation is not something new to Mäori people, it is a process that Mäori people have already been taken through. However, I do believe down this end of the woods we model a role that looks more at productivity than grief. We can go back, and back, and keep going back. But globalisation continues. And as for democracy, it does not really exist in our country because our Government has limited control over our Aotearoa. I think New Zealanders need to be politicised in talking about this kaupapa about globalisation. Kia ora.
Explanation: Traditional harvest is part of the conservation model, for example as part of the species recovery plans (Buff weka). Sustainability is also a core part of the ecosystem model. There is general distain and misunderstanding of Mäori aspirations to sustainably harvest native species amongst some conservation NGOs and the general public.
This workshop topic was given to us by Hoani Lansbury and I want to mihi to Hoani for the dialogue that he stimulated. The first example we used was given by Hoani to start the debate off. This concerned the restoration of buff weka to mainland New Zealand from the Chathams. To give some background, buff weka actually started off on New Zealand and were exported to the Chathams to ensure that they would survive. We exterminated them on the mainland by various means and there was a population explosion on the Chathams, so there has been a sustainable harvest on Rekohu for a number of years.
The second example concerns the harvesting of the raranga material, ngea ngea, from National Parks. I chose this example because I wanted to get away from killing birds and make you look at the sustainable use of more than just birds. So for those of you who do not know, keakea (or ngea ngea) basically only occurs on the West Coast and the South West Coast of this Island. Its an epiphyte, and it is not an endangered species, but it almost only occurs within National Parks.
The third example concerns the cull of indigenous species for example, seals - but more about this later.
There are issues concerning the perception of inappropriateness to harvest some species. For example, its okay to kill something domesticated, but not okay if its a native bird. There are issues about the lack of trust between the parties. For example preservationists mistrust iwi and vice versa. Another issue is the lack of knowledge generally about traditional sustainable use - for example the Titi harvest, or the use of weaving materials such as ngea ngea and pingao.
Then we got on to what we thought about these issues. Some people in the group thought that the key component to sustainability is ethics. Ethics come from local communities and the understanding that everything has an intrinsic place in the world irrespective of whether it is pretty or ugly. We thought that ecological sustainability concerns the variety of species, not just a large quantity of some species. Clearly, there are many different views of what sustainability means. Some species need to have their numbers built up before there is any possibility of sustainable harvest. Some people continue to be uncomfortable with the rebuilding of populations for harvest potential. I guess nobody wants us to harvest the kereru because they are working really hard to restore the population. But in reply I say, “Why are we restoring the population of kakapo when nobody is ever going to let us eat them?”.
We also talked about empathy and the Bambi syndrome. For example, baby fur seals with their big brown eyes and their long eyelashes. This is emotionalism run rampant.
By way of summary, somebody gave us this whaakaro that “To understand the present, we must understand the past.” Those who forget, are condemned to repeat the mistakes that were made. The waste water that flows from the rivers to the sea is a swimming pool of the children of Tangaroa. In other words, we tend to look at things in isolation without thinking what is downstream.
[Eveline holds up a model of a traditional poha that she won in a raffle the previous night]
I think it is ironic that this model poha is, with one exception, made entirely from renewable sustainable resources. And guess what the exception is. The polystyrene inside. If this was truly a poha that Tiny had made, that he brought back from Pikomamaku , this would be a wholly sustainable, renewable resource product.
Questions and Comments
Question/Comment (Lesley Shand)
Kia ora. Thank you for your report back. But I am a little bit disturbed. Your presentation does not really reflect the real diversity of opinions that were brought forth in that workshop, including Rangimarie Te Maiharoa’s superb körero about spirituality.
Eveline Cook – I had about 12 pages of notes and when we did the summation, basically most of that came out of there. But kia ora. I support what you say.
I am not sure about spirituality as being a threatened resource because its comes from within us. However, I accept that Rangi’s körero about the spirituality of the resources that we are talking about is important - they were his whaakaro. I hope he will elaborate. It is not my place to speak Rangi’s words.
Question/Comment (Rangimarie Te Maiharoa, another member of the discussion group)
Kia ora. Tënä koutou.
On the topic of waste water and the flows of rivers, the thing that comes to my mind is the development of the land as we see it today. We have taken away a lot of the natural filtration - I am meaning the riparian strips of streams. We have cleaned up the toi toi, the flax and all those things that are very important to filtration. And when you take that filtration away, you are actually taking wairua out of the water. You know you have got to put all those back. We have made such a hell of a mess of this world and it is suffering. Papatuanuku is suffering.
Now, I am going to make a division here which has no reflection on anyone else. Waitaha have always referred to themselves as Waitaha - we do not respect the word Mäori. That is not part of us. We are Waitaha. We feel very, very strongly for the Wairua and the spirituality of the land, the sea and the air. I do not wish to go into any arguments because we have been through all that. We maintain, that the Waitaha, our ancestors, were the first people to come to this land and we hold that very, very deeply to us. So therefore, we feel we have a right to speak. Unfortunately, when the Ngäi Tahu agreement was signed in Kaikoura, they put Waitaha in that Bill and the Government have now got Waitaha in as a sub-tribe to Ngäi Tahu. Now that is very, very detrimental to us.
I am going to say this to Ngäi Tahu. You will always call yourselves tangata whenua in the place of Waitaha. But you will always call yourselves that with guilt. That’s my perspective.
But let me put yet one more thing to you. The great whale is the most ancient brain of this universe and it has the most wisdom. Now if you go back into that thinking, then you are coming back into the Waitaha times. So remember, the great whale. That animal that swims in our ocean is probably millions of years old and it is the most ancient brain. If you can think of the wisdom that goes with it, then you are starting to think the way Waitaha think.
Just a little response to the körero about preservation and sustainability. If we preserve the various essence of wairuatunga, our spirituality, then the sustainable aspects of our relationship to the environment that we live in will come out quite naturally. So may be part of the essence of sustainability is in actual fact remembering that tie that we have to this land, to this universe that we are part of. That körero is very important. Kia ata tautoko.
Explanation: Control? Western model? Mäori knowledge
bank - what is the quality of it at present? Dollars? Mäori model - what does
it look like? What is ownership? Skills - who endorses it? Maths - a critical
need? Indigenous - what’s this? Iwi. Hapu. Mana. Mätauranga. Whakatauki.
Tënä katou tënä katou tënä tatou katoa. This is Te Ati Awa. See that there. Ngäti Raukawa, Ngäti Toa, Te Arawa hoki e tu ake nei ki te mihi ki a koutou te haukainga me koutou katoa e tae pai mai ki te whakati ake i te kaupapa o te wa.
[The spokesperson requested that those in the audience who were practising scientists with science degrees stand up. Of these, only two in the audience were Mäori.]
Our workshop group discussed this issue about just the two of you in this room today.
What are the imperatives? Firstly, we must increase Mäori participation and growth in this industry which is about raising the quality level of Mäori development. I actually put this right back on Mäori people, because as Mäori people, we are pretty well prepared to accept second best. Second best is no longer good enough. We need to be 100% first best.
How are we going to do this and what with? We talked about the presence of Mäori people in a eurocentric science environment. You are asking for Mäori people to bring their expertise into the science community so you can translate it ‘Pakehafied’. Now this workshop is not saying that is wrong. But we require all of us to recognise that that is what we are doing. In terms of what Kaylynn talked about this morning, we are actually taking our gifts across to the other side of the bridge without any exchange. We are Pakehafying the Mätauranga Mäori. If that is part of our growth, of Mäori development, we need to be aware that that is what we are doing.
What we proposed is to put together what we call a pou körero. The pou körero gives us the possibility of empowering a Mäori perspective of planet earth. That is the Mäori science, not the Pakehafied bits. The Mäori perspective of Papatuanuku and Rangi and all of their kids. It is about providing the voice that the authority of the iwi whanui endorses. We have got putaiao which at the moment is identified as the Mäori group, the TPK group, the Mäori Council, and the Mäori Women’s Welfare League, to endorse scientific growth. But they are too far down in the pecking order. We need to put together a pou körero that can go head-to-head at least at Cabinet level to raise the level of körero kanohi ki te kanohi. We are talking about people like Dame Te Atairangikahu, Taa Latima and Paora Reeves.
Mäori people. We are talking about getting the sort of grunt as a pou körero hei körero kanohi ki te kanohi that will have influence at least at Cabinet level. We do not have that authority yet. What we have got is putaiao too far down in the pecking order to have enough substance to shift us into another Paradigm.
Now, we decided around the pou körero, we were going to put this pataka iringa körero. This pataka iringa körero, which is part of a whare, is all of our tohunga. Our tohunga with the remnants of our Mätauranga Mäori. Here is a reality. Only 8% of the total Mäori population speaks Reo Tuturu. The only people in this room who speak the Reo Tuturu are the Ngäti Kuri people. The rest of us are second language learners. People like the Ngäti Kuri people are repositories of an older language which has the oldest scientific signposts that are specifically Mäori. Those are the people that we need to put into the pataka iringa körero to empower a Mäori validation of a Mäori science perspective. At the moment we have the New Zealand Qualifications Authority which is a Pakeha organization empowering Mäori people to do what Mäori people know better. So we must use that pataka iringa körero to do that and to use them as a science kohanga. What would happen if we put them all together as a science kohanga and in doing that, we actually would benchmark the quantity and quality of information that is just a remnant. The Mätauranga Mäori out there right now is just a remnant and you are asking us to Pakehafy what little we have left. We need, in the terms of Kaylynn, to be able to do it on our side of the bridge. Whakanui, whakaki ake aua körero aua kupu körero on our side of the bridge so that we know what we can bring to you. And we have a choice in making the decision about whether or not to bring it to you at all.
I made the point about the fact that this knowledge bank is possibly embedded in the 8% of the total population who speaks the native language, Reo Tuturu. Identifying the size of that gives us an idea of how much knowledge is really left so that we can actually scrutinise it from a Mäori perspective, not from a eurocentric perspective. Because at the end of the day, we are simply talking about the other side of the same coin. That’s all. This science kohanga or pataka iringa körero will provide us with the mentors that our growth needs.
Now what we have got is a sort of whare here, pou körero pataka iringa körero but no feet. Lets have a look at the feet. We are calling this the pou pou. You see, those two circles in the middle are not going to survive if we do not build the capacity underneath it. It is called capacity building. I have called these four circles here the pou pou.
The poupou (i.e. capacity building) are about empowering the global Mäori community with education and using maths and science as the tools to do that. There is nothing more powerful than an informed educated community. And so we use the tools of science and maths to build the capacity, to provide more growth, so that when the kohanga science, the pataka iringa körero starts to fall apart, we have got people to put it back in place all the time. We have what we call our “Operation Head Start” for capacity building. These poupou are maths and science camps for Mäori children only, at primary school and secondary school levels. There are four separate camps - primary level maths and science; and secondary level maths and science. And to those camps we import the best international educators we can find, because the best is just what we need. We do not want second best. And that gives us an opportunity to build capacity.
To summarise, we must
And finally, to do all of that and to build capacity, all we need is commitment, courage and to take action. More Mäori o muri nei.
We recommend that:
· this hui endorses ongoing FRST support of the Titi project i.e. the Rakiura Titi Committee and the Otago University joint venture.
We are actually serving notice on FRST to put into practice their commitment to making those linkages happen.
No reira koutou katoa. Huri noa ki te whare, tënä koutou, tënä koutou, tënä ra tatai katoa.
Questions and Comments
Question/Comment (Kelly Davis)
Ki a koe Tungia. I was very impressed with the your presentation and the recommendations. I agree wholeheartedly with the recommendations. What do you think is the next step? How do we penetrate to make these things happen?
Tungia Baker - Thank you to the group who entrusted me to report back. I am ashamed of my manipulation of the workshop findings, but there seems to be no protest from the group around that. However, our group did talk about all of these things. In terms of where to next, I am standing here right now, and I am happy to meet with anybody who is interested in taking Head Start another step forward. I am standing here right now with another person that I will not name alongside me who wants the programme to go ahead and the recommendation to be heard. We are interested in having anybody who’d like to see Head Start get going to come forward. Kia ora tatou.
Question/Comment (Tania Heel)
Tënä koe. Ko Tania Heel, taku ingoa. Ko Ngäi Tahu, Ngäti mamoe, Waitaha hoki taku iwi.
I teach research at the Southern Institute of Technology. I have often wondered how we can mix the language of research and science with Mäori language that needs to be constantly updated. As scientists, how do we stick to the old Reo and where do we compromise when the new language is being bombarded by scientists?
Tungia Baker - Tënä koe. I really need to say there is been magnificent growth in our language, and I am not talking about transliteration. How many of you know what the Mäori name for a computer is? It is rorohiko. What about one of those cassette tapes? It is mahini mau körero. You know, there is a lot of that stuff around. For example, we used to actually do a Caesarian operation i nga wa o mua with hoeroa and there is a whole lot of vocabulary around that which is transferable to science. I bet people did not know that we used to do those sorts of operations . So the vocabulary is there. I think we need to get back to the bank of the native speaker. The problem about translating those applications is going to be somebody else’s problem and we will be there to help them sort it out.
Could I ask you to say after me.
“Grant me the serenity”, [repeated by audience]
“To accept the things I cannot change”. [repeated by audience]
“The courage to change the things I can.” [repeated by audience]
“and the wisdom”, [repeated by audience]
“to know the difference,” [repeated by audience]
No reira koutou katoa. Tënä katou, tënä katou, tënä tatou katoa.
Explanation: Co-management is such an exciting concept that we need some advice of where to focus our research efforts to assist establishing it. We need advice from a non-prejudiced, non-judgemental, and open-minded forum on the value of research in building partnerships.
We talked mainly about protocols to follow before you carry out research.
We would like to share a few key ideas that we think people need to be aware of before we undertake any sort of research in any sort of context. One key idea that we learn at Lincoln University is that to understand the whole, you need to understand the parts and that is where multi-disciplinary approaches become pretty important. Secondly, in order to bridge the gap between Mäori and Pakeha that we all hear about so often, we need to understand that science is a tool that is but one part of the whole. I think we need to understand that nature is diverse and complex and it can be dangerous.
One of our group’s main points was that one of the problems preventing more bicultural approaches comes from not working together from the very beginning. In other words, the scientists would come to the Mäori and say “We have got an idea, we want to use your animals, we want to use your land and we want to use science.” Rather than come to Mäori at that mid point in the process, we thought that scientists should start by going to the people and come up with the research ideas together. Mäori have wonderful ideas that scientists might call hypotheses. We should define problems for research as a unified group.
As Melanie’s already said, science is just one form of decision-making. While that is pretty well known to scientists, its not particularly well known, I suspect, by a great number of people of the community. So when a decision is made, science is only one very small part of the information that goes up to make a decision. There can be economic reasons, spiritual reasons, simple reasons of timing and people that may be more important than science in environmental decisions. So science has to be kept in its place in the sense that it is not the panacea to making all decisions about resources. Its just one leg of making those decisions.
It is also very important in research, if you were going to be effective in actually transferring the results of that research into action, to actually have an owner for the research. That is somebody who wants the research done. If you leave scientists alone, certainly Pakeha scientists like myself, they are likely to investigate things that they want to research for themselves, but the results are unlikely to go anywhere or affect anything. So its very important that the hypotheses being tested by science come out of a need. The people who are managing resources, and this is what we are talking about here concerning the iwi, will first need to have talked through and decided what they want investigated. It is that talking through process which is actually the hardest part of doing the science - the actual putting up of the useful hypotheses.
Melanie Eccles - I think its quite important to add that we each individually have a responsibility which is a part of a community responsibility. Scientists are part of a community. Our research directions have to reflect a mixture of top down and grass roots motivations and we each have a responsibility to go out there and make it happen. We have empower ourselves to go out there and be active and not sit back and wait for Government to do it, like so many people do sometimes. So everyone should go out there and get involved.
Questions and Comments
Question/Comment (Erina Rewi, Otago Polytechnic, Rakiura Mäori)
Kia ora for that. One thing that we do not talk about in research is the way it reduces what we know. Often when it comes in contact with kaupapa Mäori or things Mäori, it takes the symbolism out of what it is that we are actually talking about. There is a recent pull towards a more subjective way of doing science.
I want to talk about my role in Otago Polytechnic which is teaching research and teaching cultural safety. Cultural safety looks at the practice, what happens at that interface. In short, I teach people good manners. Often that gets lost in the midst of a science project because we are looking after someone else’s agenda. And when we look at truth in science, who’s truth are we looking at? Where does the science go and who at the end of the day is going to benefit? I know for a lot of our Mäori people that have been involved in research, that have been both researchers and participants, or subjects of the research, or have been subjected to research, that a lot of the körero is distorted and twisted to meet someone else’s agenda. When you say participate, get involved, two questions arise: who’s agenda is being acted out and where is the funding? When we start talking money, we seem to see the top layer disappear and no one in the bureaucratic layer wants to talk about it - because they have by then already got their agenda and they have already got their money.
It is good to hear that resource management is talking about a more inclusive model of research. I think researchers in health have always tried to meet this partnership relationship stuff, but I think we do need to just add a little bit of common sense to it too. It really does get down to good manners. I think Pakeha people need to continuously reflect on racism and what happens in that intimate interaction where good manners leave and the agenda of power takes over. Mäori have got a lot of knowledge. We have got so much knowledge that in this day and age I wonder why we give it out to anyone. For example, those that practice muttonbirding are the only ones that know exactly what’s happening. You can investigate, you can research, you can turn it inside out, you can meet agendas, and you can get millions of dollars worth of funding for something that really only the people that practice it know about. So no reira, tënä koutou, tënä koutou, tënä koutou katoa.
Melanie Eccles - Kia ora, thank you. I totally agree with what you
are saying. We all need to work together to build bridges and move on. With
some of my other fellow students here, I have come
through a quite a unique degree in New Zealand, the
Bachelor of Resource Studies Degree at Lincoln University. It
is unique in that it takes a
holistic approach, rather like a BA in Environmental Science. It
is a multi disciplinary degree where we look at all the little parts so that we can then look at things as a whole.
Its pretty exciting what’s going on in research ways at Lincoln and
all the other research institutions and in the communities.
Question/Comment (Kelly Davis)
Kia ora. I want to follow up the last speaker about good practices. In the last 10 years, I have been looking at scientific methodology. When we meet with scientists they tell us that this is the way it must be done. I feel some of the methodology is quite damning. I have been using the scientific methodology, especially to study fresh water, and then going to the traditional Mäori ways of gathering information. I have been rung by expert scientists and researchers who say ‘You are damaging my professional ability because of what you are saying’. Now this concerns good manners too, because the person that rang me did not take the opportunity to find out how the hell I got the data. Only when he found out what I was saying, did we fish in the same water. I use a different methodology, but I also used the scientific method that he used to justify the data. I used the science method to say “Hello!” - this science is not absolutely fool proof for me as a Mäori. But I did not set out to damage his professional ability. What I set out to do was to show that there is another way of gathering this information. So what I am saying to the science people is, I have got a PhD in Science Mätauranga Mäori and I got my PhD from the University of hard knocks. I have been a researcher for the past 10 years, because I felt that science was not telling us the full story.
The other thing I want to say about the good manners is: do not expect that you can come and say to Mäori, “Would you support this science research programme?” I will not support it. Not unless there is something in it that’s going to satisfy me in terms of Mätauranga Mäori. So that is the good manners part that we are talking about.
Can you satisfy me that all the research
methodologies that are in the science world today are going to give
satisfaction to Mätauranga Mäori?
Angela Halliday, Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Management student, University of Otago; and spokesperson for the discussion group)
I do not think they will satisfy Mätauranga Mäori. I think too often scientists come to Mäori with an idea in their head for which they have got a methodology and hypotheses and all that crap already worked out. And they say, “Well what do you think?” Instead they should involve Mäori in the planning process before they even think of the whole idea.
Ian West - Kia ora. We talked about globalisation earlier and science is a good example of a very global activity. A lot of the norms in science and a lot of the pressures that are put on scientists, do not come from within New Zealand. They come from within the norms of the international community. And because there are a large number of cultural precedents contributing to science, we are not going to satisfy completely (in traditional eurocentric science) the demands of Mätauranga Mäori. And it will be a terrible thing if we did because we would lose the diversity of the ways of looking at the world and the diversity of tools to actually find out about what’s going on in the world. So we are never going to be able to come completely together and be comfortable. As a New Zealand scientist, I am not happy about a lot of science, but that is just the way that life is and you have to learn to live with those tensions. Life’s about living with some tensions I am afraid, especially in science.
Melanie Eccles - I would just like to drum home the fact that science is important, but its part of the whole. It is just a tool.