Skip to content

Our Guiding Philosophy

The Guiding Philosophy was developed by Manaaki Whenua's Board of Directors in 1993. It was reviewed, but not changed, in 1999. Following the Board's 50-year visioning exercise in 2004, the Guiding Philosophy was strengthened to reflect our increased focus on sustainable development, and to clarify when and how we will take leadership to influence decision-making.

  • We will care for the land and its ability to sustain future generations. Land is a source of healthy produce, clean water, recreation, and of spiritual strength. Land provides for the abundant diversity of life, birth, death, decay and regeneration. We are pledged to enhance this, the environmental inheritance of our country.

  • We will honour the Treaty of Waitangi. We believe that the spirit and principles of the Treaty provide a model for our dealings with people from all cultures and societies.

  • We are committed to acting in an ethical manner in all aspects of our business. We have developed a code of ethics to guide directors, executives and staff in their decisions and actions.

  • The broad focus of our work is to use science to understand and encourage sustainable development in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our work must combine ecological, social, cultural and economic components for policy and management systems to remain viable in the long term.

  • We aim to use both strategic and applied research to support the development of sound policies and management systems. We will also undertake basic research to provide high quality information on the current state of our resources and on environmental processes.

  • We will encourage community participation in setting our research directions and strategies. We will aim for transparency as to the distribution of the costs and benefits of any policy recommendations, and we will communicate our results to all those involved.

  • Our recommendations will be based on consistently trying to ensure that adverse environmental effects are avoided, remedied or mitigated. Responsibility for implementing appropriate action should lie with the persons or businesses affecting the environment.

  • We have important roles as information providers and knowledge brokers. We will take leadership to inform public debate. Expression of our work will reflect the professional opinion of individuals and teams, and be the subject of ongoing peer review.

  • We will seek to influence decision-making, founded on our research, when great uncertainty, risk or irreversibility necessitate precautionary action, or when important ethics call for public advocacy.

  • We will publicise our achievements to make our staff, our stakeholders and our clients aware that we are making a difference. We will strive together to become internationally recognised for the quality and effectiveness of our research and for our business success in economic, environmental, social and cultural dimensions.

  • We will attract, develop and retain research, science and technology capability for New Zealand's benefit.