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Restitution of Marae and communities through Mahinga Kai

Restitution of Marae and communities through Mahinga Kai

Principal investigator: Pip Pehi

Staff involved: Lisa Kanawa (LK Associates), Will Allen (Landcare Research), Pip Pehi

Brief abstract

The focus of this scoping project was to identify the barriers, obstacles and potential solutions to conducting research in the area of local customary fisheries from a  ’flax roots level, that is the application and management of Mataitai and Taiāpure by communities and marae.  This present research is interested in finding out what is currently happening in the area of customary fishing, what research priorities tangata whenua identify as being relevant for them, and how these priorities can be achieved.

The research methodology chosen for the project was a kaupapa Māori methodology and within this broader kaupapa Māori methodology a number of methods were employed. Specifically we used semi-structured interviews, which were followed by transcription and thematic analysis to interpret and analyse the data.

The findings concluded that:

  • Definite need for this current research to occur from participants’ perspective.  Especially as a way to open further opportunities to conduct the research they have identified as important within the customary fisheries area.
  • Importance and centrality of relationship for excellent research outcomes for all people involved in the research process.
  • Participants within the area researched have a good grasp on what research is, an excellent understanding on both the legal and personal distinctions of customary fisheries and practice, how research in the area of customary fisheries could benefit them and their communities, clearly articulated and identified research questions, priorities, hypotheses and agendas, a firm understanding of both current and historical issues for customary fisheries, and a clearly articulated and concise understanding of the barriers for Māori participating in customary fisheries research.

As further outcomes for the project the research team will undertake Community and Academic Dissemination for the results to be shared with participants and peers.