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How Traditional Māori Ethics And Values Have Been Applied In Contemporary Māori Land Development

1579 words - 7 pages

How Traditional Māori Ethics and Values Have Been Applied in Contemporary Māori Land Development

Tihē mauriora
The breath, the energy of life

Ki te whaiao, ki Te Ao Mārama
To the dawnlight, to the world of light

My understanding of the question is that I am to demonstrate my view of Mātauranga, (traditional Māori knowledge) and Kaupapa Māori (traditional Māori ethics and values) and how they are incorporated into today’s world. I will be relating my interpretation specifically to sustainable land development and the principle of Kaitiakitanga, that is, the guardianship of land and the environment in current times. To accomplish this I shall first present my understanding of Māori World ...view middle of the document...

Mātauranga Māori perception is that the environment is part of mankind and visa versa, intrinsic to each other. (James, 1993)

Mātauranga Māori and the environment
Mātauranga refers to the knowledge base, wisdom, understanding and skills acquired, of all that is seen and unseen. In today’s world it is also used in conjunction with past, present and future, local as well as traditional knowledge (Landcare Research, 2014).

The European colonists of New Zealand did not recognise principles of Mātauranga Māori. However, during the late twentieth century awareness has grown and it has become more recognised and is now becoming incorporated into today’s practices (Landcare Research, 2014).

Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research) is a Crown Research Institute that is trying to understand and incorporate the principles of Mātauranga Māori. They have produced many collaborative research programmes with Mātauranga Māori woven in. These programmes incorporate Māori values in relation to land use planning, ecosystems, wetlands, estuary monitoring and restoration. They also include indigenous forestry and much more, for the purpose of ensuring sustainability for future generations (Landcare Research, 2014).

The programmes developed have overcome complex and diverse issues using many epistemologies (multiple philosophies) along with traditional methods to resolve them. Māori world view is that we as humans are an integral part of the ecosystem which is inherent to whakapapa. This holistic view often conflicts with scientific views, so the primary concern with these programmes has been to create frameworks that blend both traditional and modern knowledge to encourage effective resource management (Landcare Research, 2014).

Kaupapa Māori
Kaupapa Māori is what validates the Māori world view, by definition Kaupapa Māori is “the Māori way”. Philosophies that encompass knowledge, skills, attitudes and ideals of Māori society, that have been passed from generation to generation, through oral traditions. It is the way Māori decipher and formulate ideas and knowledge through te reo Māori and is primarily understood by those with the knowledge of Kaupapa Māori (Kaupapa Māori, 2014).

Graham Hingangaroa Smith originally recognized six elements of Kaupapa Māori which have been further expanded on by many other theorists. Some of the key elements or principals of Kaupapa Māori are listed below:

Tino Rangatiratanga - Self-determination
This relates to sovereignty, autonomy, control, self-determination and independence. This principle conveys the ideology behind the aspirations of Māori as a people to be in control of their own culture, aspirations and destiny.

Taonga Tuku Iho - Cultural Aspiration
This principle concerns itself to the uniqueness and validity of Te Reo Māori, Tīkanga and Mātauranga Māori. Acknowledging them and their importance in today’s world allows for spiritual and cultural awareness to be integrated into the way we do thing’s today.


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