Our forum is now closed. See below for a transcript of the discussions that ensued.
***************** Forum Contribution No: 1 ******************
Subject: Mäori representation on Boards
Contributors: Phil Lyver and Anne Kendrick
Affiliations: Lyver: FRST Postdoctoral Fellow at Landcare Research; Kendrick (Natural Resources Institute)
Email: LyverP@landcare.cri.nz, email@example.com
Date: 7 December 2001.
Message: Kia ora nga hoa
Unfortunately, we were not able to attend the hui last August due to research commitments in Canada. However, the excellent website has allowed us to experience the wide range of culturally related environmental issues facing Mäori, managers, scientists, and bureaucrats in New Zealand. As our friend Dyanna Jolly said "reading through the presentations you could almost feel the vibes in the air at some points, especially during the question period". We totally agree!
Based on our experience in Canada and what we've read on this website we would like to obtain the thoughts from people regarding a couple of related issues.
Keith Johnson said in his talk ".. appointment of Kaupapa Atawhai managers ... was complemented by the appointment of Mäori members and strong Mäori representation onto Conservation Boards and the New Zealand Conservation Authority." We would like to query "what" is considered to be appropriate representation by Mäori on environmental management and conservation boards and what is driving the level of representation? When we talk about "strong Mäori representation", what do we mean? Is this (i) consultation or; (ii) one or two Mäori representatives on a board of 12 or; (iii) is it a 50:50 split between iwi and the relevant partner(s) or; (iv) is it majority representation by Mäori?
Maybe just as important is "who" decides what appropriate representation is? Is it existing environmental agencies or boards, or Mäori themselves? We found in Canada that some aboriginal communities refused to become formally entrenched in participant resource management discussions for fear of undermining efforts to re-establish their sovereignty and authority on their own lands (takiwa). Is this the same for Mäori and their aspirations for tino rangatiratanga and equal recognition under the Treaty of Waitangi?
"Strong" aboriginal representation in Canada generally means at least an equal number of community representatives on a board (this may be greater depending on the number of communities in the local area and especially for resource management boards negotiated under the auspices of land claims agreement). It is Phil's impression that New Zealand has not travelled as far down this power-sharing road as has Canada. Why is this? Do we feel Mäori do not have the capacity to sit on these boards in equal representation? Do we feel a 50:50 split in the decision-making process would result in poorer environmental outcomes? Even with a 50:50 split in representation would that be enough for Mäori issues and knowledge to be equally considered in the decision-making process?
Our experience in Canada suggests not. The weight of First Nations views within the context of actual management decision-making depends largely on the level that these boards can influence policy and change. For example, the Beverly-Qamanirjuaq Caribou Co-management Board has majority aboriginal representation, but can only "advise" Ministers of mainstream government agencies. Therefore, you can question the Board's ability to affect change. So at this level we are not altogether convinced that even a 75 (aboriginal): 25 split in power would necessarily increase consideration of aboriginal knowledge and issues in decision-making.
It is our experience that the potential power of these co-management boards depends largely on how they were set up. There are certainly recognisable power differences between "crisis-based" (real or perceived crisis - the Beverly- Qamanirjuaq Caribou Co-management Board) and "claims-based" co-management. This may be a consideration for Mäori when entering into collaborative management partnerships.
We ask for these "take" (issues) to be aired in the forum and ask for people to speak plainly with regard them.
No reira, tënä koutou, tënä koutou, tënä tatou katoa.
Phil Lyver and Anne Kendrick
***************** ForumContribution No: 2 ******************
Contributor: Dyanna Jolly
Affiliations: Native Law Centre, University of Saskatchewan and Centre for Mäori and Indigenous Planning and Development, Lincoln University
Date: 7 December 2001.
What a great idea! As a Canadian of First Nations heritage and as researcher
keen on building relationships between traditional knowledge and science, I
find this website provides a very current, creative, and informative discussion
of these issues. My thanks to all those who shared their views for the rest of
us to learn from.
***************** ForumContribution No: 3 ******************
Subject: It is a privilege to work with Titi harvesters
Contributor: David Fletcher
Affiliations: Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Otago
Date: 7 December 2001.
Message: Kia Ora. As a Päkehä mathematician working on
the modelling side of the tïtï project, I have really enjoyed the chance to
meet some of the birders and hear about their years of experience. Listening to
their stories after a hard day's work in the field can be worth more than
months of slaving over a hot computer! Working in a community-driven research
project gives an added dimension of pleasure and commitment to the work. It's a
privilege for me to be allowed to work with tïtï, both in my office in Dunedin
and on those wonderful islands.
***************** ForumContribution No: 4 ******************
Subject : Titi Times
Keywords: Co-management, bi-culturalism
Contributor: Peter Gaze
Affiliation: Department of Conservation, Nelson
Message: Congratulations on the website - what a feast. Although I wasn't able to attend the hui I now feel able to catch up on those contributions and participate in initiatives to improve Mäori involvement in conservation and management of our natural resources. The website will no doubt continue to provide information and foster these discussions for a long time but the medium is likely restricted in its audience. The contribution of Titi times (published by Zoo Dept of University of Otago) is the one which really excites me. This publication provides the most bi-cultural contribution to science and conservation that I know of in this country. I think it is an example that could be adopted in many parts of the country with great potential to broaden our understanding of these issues.
Personally, I would love to see a
similar publication that deals with the islands of Cook Strait and encompasses
the varied interests of at least five iwi, several universities, two DOC
conservancies and a very interested public at large. Without this continued
dialogue our consultation is inevitably flawed, there are occasional
misunderstandings and we all lose opportunities.
Editor's Note: Titi Times is
produced about twice and year and mailed out free of charge. If you want to
receive a copy, write to us at Titi Times, Zoology Department, University of
Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin. Alternatively you can Fax your details to us at 03
4797584 or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us your name and
address and telephone number, and indicate whether or not you want back copies
sent. Titi Times No 8 (June 2001) was a special edition that discussed many of
the issues discussed in this hui Ñ egs. Differences and common ground between
mätauranga and science, more Mäori on science.
Contribution No: 5 ******************
Subject: Mätauranga in the Visual Arts
Mätauranga and publication; Education
Contributor: Graham Price
Affiliations: Arts Education, School of Education, University of Waikato
Date: 12 December 2001.
Message: One of the interesting things inside a university community is the opportunity to peak into other disciplines. Websites make that even more accessible. The debates happening in science/environment/Maori are entwined with our debates inside the Visual Arts curriculum for schools. The interface with Mätauranga Maori should of course be a key concern for any educator. This marae-based open dialogue dealing with Mätauranga Maori is a wonderful opportunity to listen to and observe. It is an elegant site.
I have only just skim read a paper by Murray Parsons on metaphor and a workshop on sharing Maori knowledge by Tungia Baker to know that there are useful treasures here and more to be discovered.
As an educator I have been particularly delighted lately by Philip Simpson's recent publication "Dancing Leaves" as it expresses a generous multi discipline exploration of narratives surrounding Ti Kouka in accessible form. As a model of "bicultural scholarship ?" it raises interesting questions that the author does acknowledge in his preface. I enjoy the challenges expressed by Tungia Baker to "sharing" Mätauranga Maori as a kinaki to such work. Finding partnership models that work for both parties and honouring/protecting oral traditions in a context of publication is a journey we can't afford to ignore.
Thanks to participants for their unique voice and Otago University Zoology Dept, Henrik Moller and Maureen Howard for their commitment to sharing this hui so transparently.
Contribution No: 6 ******************
Subject : Websites: do they reach the right people?
Keywords: Website; Communication; Co-management
Relates to Contributions: 2, 4, 5.
Contributor: Henrik Moller
Affiliation: Te tari o Wakäro Kararehe, te Whare Wänanga o Otago
Message: It is great to hear of Dyanna Jolly's (#2) and Graham Price's (#5) enthusiastic response to this website. But Peter Gaze (# 4) is perhaps right that this website will not reach some of the key people involved in partnerships and co-management. A day after launch we have had over 100 hits, but who by? In particular, will the site be visited by the flax-roots members of communities wishing to set up co-management initiatives? In 1997 I participated in a workshop called by Canada's ÔNational Round Table on the Environment and the Economy' to establish sustainable strategies for Oceans. People working in co-management from several different parts of the world contributed. There was a strong voice from the South Americans and African workers that Email actually means ÔElite mail' and, along with websites, will not be adequate to achieve true grass-roots participation.
Does anyone out there have experience in this issue for New Zealand? Are most Maori communities consulting websites, or even likely to hear about this site via Email? If not, what needs to be done?