New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2019) 43(3): 3379

Ka mua, ka muri: the inclusion of mātauranga Māori in New Zealand ecology

Research Article
Priscilla M. Wehi 1,2*
Jacqueline R. Beggs 3
Tara G. McAllister 2
  1. Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Private Bag 1930, Dunedin 9054
  2. Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems, University of Auckland, PO Box 92019, Auckland 1142
  3. School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
*  Corresponding author

Globally, there is growing recognition of the benefits that indigenous peoples can bring to ecology and conservation, drawing on deep spiritual and cultural ties to the environment. The contribution of indigenous peoples and their knowledges is now widely acknowledged as critical to successful efforts to mitigate anthropogenic impacts. In New Zealand, matauranga spans all aspects of indigenous Maori knowledge and is conceptualised, developed and maintained through practice and connection. We searched all issues of the Proceedings of the New Zealand Ecological Society and the New Zealand Journal of Ecology from 1953 to 2018 to identify and highlight papers that feature research partnerships with Maori and/or acknowledge and explore matauranga Maori in a meaningful way. There were only three, republished here in this virtual issue. Although there has been a recent increase in studies that incorporate matauranga Maori published in other journals, we argue that substantive commitment to community partnerships and bicultural research has not been realized in ecological research. Working with interdisciplinary knowledge including matauranga will be critical to halt further biodiversity loss and improve outcomes for the environment and people, in New Zealand and worldwide. Matauranga Maori has much to contribute to positive biodiversity and ecological outcomes, but it will require institutional and systemic support of scientific researchers to develop authentic partnerships with Maori communities to transform research practices.

Ko te ahurea, te mātauranga me te wairuatanga o ngā iwi taketake ngā aho e whakamana ana i te hiranga o ēnei iwi ki ngā mahi tiaki taiao, ki ngā mahi mātai hauropi. Mo ngā iwi taketake o te ao, i ahu mai te mātauranga i ō rātou hononga ā-wairua ki te taiao, i ō rātou rawekeweke i te ao kikokiko. Mā ēnei momo mātauranga ka pērā ki tō te iwi Māori, ngā kino hauropi e whakamāuru. I whāia e mātou ngā tuhinga roa e hāngai ana ki te Māori me tōna mātauranga ki roto i te whakaputanga o te Proceedings of the New Zealand Ecological Society me te New Zealand Journal of Ecology mai i te tau 1953 ki te tau 2018. E toru noa iho ngā tuhinga roa i kitea i te mutunga mai o tō mātou mahi rangahau. Ahakoa kua nui haere ngā tuhituhinga e hāngai ana ki te mātauranga Māori, e whakapono ana mātou me kaha ake te whakamana i te mātauranga Māori ki roto i ngā mahi rangahau mātai hauropi. Waihoki, me whakawhanake hoki ngā kaipūtaiao ki te hāpai i te mātauranga Māori ki roto i ō rātou mahi. Ka mutu, ki te taunaki ngā rōpū whakahaere pūtaiao i ngā kaipūtaiao, kāore e kore, ka nui ake ngā hua, ngā whakamahinga o te mātauranga Māori mo ngā mahi rangahau pūtaiao. Me tuwhera ngā ringa o te hunga pūtaiao ki ngā whānau ki ngā hapū me ngā iwi Māori mo ngā mahi whakarauora taiao. Mā te mahi ngātahi, mā te tōtō mai i ngā akoranga rerekē, ka hua mai ngā rongoā hei whakarauora i te taiao me te orangatonutanga o te tangata, ki Aotearoa, ōtirā, ki te ao whānui.