Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Results of Hui and Discussions

Onuku Marae. Image - Adrienne Farr

Onuku Marae. Image - Adrienne Farr

A number of hui and small group discussions were held in 1994/95 and 1995/96 in an attempt to define or describe what was meant by the term “Māori values”. These were supported by an extensive literature search and review in 1994/95. Representatives from different iwi provided a wide cross section of views on Māori values, and how they should be recorded. At the detailed level, each iwi had a variable set of environmental and planning issues to contend with. Other subjects discussed at hui included the suitability of this type of information on planning databases, Māori value classifications and inventories, cultural and intellectual property rights, iwi and hapū management plans, and planning issues for each iwi/hapū.

All groups provided many examples of poor or inadequate consultation by local authorities. Most groups were neither anti- nor pro-development, but wanted greater input at the start of the planning process, not just during it, or at the end. This would see a shift to much more proactive planning, involving participation, rather than the more common reactive examples in recent years (e.g. Wiri, South Auckland, PCfE 1996). Examples of common environmental and cultural issues discussed at hui are shown in Table 1.

Environmental and Cultural Issues

Examples of effects on Māori values

Water pollution (inland, estuarine, and coastal) overall concern on contamination and loss of traditional food source areas, deterioration in quality of streams, rivers, estuaries and harbours and destruction of ecosystems, loss of sacredness of many areas.
- water quality
effects on freshwater and marine ecosystems, mahinga kai areas, effects on mauri, wāhi tapu.
- sediment runoff/deposition
Effects of degradation of water quality in estuaries, harbours, streams, rivers, coastal areas, effects on mahinga kai and kaimātaitai (seafood).
- sewage outfall

- loss of mahinga kai, mahinga mātaitai
Effects on mauri, contamination and pollution of traditional food source areas, effects on shellfish, damage to fish breeding grounds, etc;
concerns about wellbeing of people;
- pesticides

- heavy metals

- toxic chemicals
effects on quality of mahinga kai, kaimātaitai, concerns about contamination and food poisoning, concerns about health and well-being of people.
Ground water contamination
- leachates
- nitrate contamination
As it affects the total system and re-enters watercourses, effects on traditional food source areas, effects on water supplies, health effects on children.
Coastal management
- sewage outfall
Loss of authority over special areas, effects on kaimātaitai, mahinga mātaitai, damage to fish breeding grounds;
- chemical spills
concerns about contamination of traditional food source areas, and about wellbeing/health of people;
- deposition of sediment
- deposition of fertilisers with sediment
Degradation of ecosystems, contamination of traditional food source areas such as harbours, estuaries.
Nutrification and pollution from farm runoff effects on mahinga kai, kai awa (freshwater food), contamination, desecration of wāhi tapu sites in and around streams, rivers, and lakes.
Wetland management Destruction of animal, fish and bird habitats, deterioration of water quality, draining of wetlands, modification of landscapes.
Soil degradation/erosion destruction of habitats downstream from erosion events, effects of deposition over wāhi tapu areas, such as urupā.
Forest/vegetative degradation
- sustainable harvest
effects on cultural values of vegetation, forest, removal and limited access to timber sources for carving, destruction of medicinal plants, effects on cultural harvest of birds, animals etc.
Management of native forest Rangatiratanga, having more authority or control over management of forests, retaining native bush in some areas, protection of wāhi tapu and wāhi tūpuna within forests.
Maintenance/enhancing biodiversity of ecosystems, land and forest Need to define biodiversity in terms of Māori values.
Control of pests
- use of 1080 poison
Concerns over destruction of native forest, e.g. possums, effects on ecosystems/water quality by poison drops;
- spread of disease
Bovine TB, concerns about spread of disease to livestock, concerns about wellbeing of people;
- degradation of native forests, coastal forest areas
Effects on mahinga kai, loss of medicinal plants, plants for weaving.
Control of noxious plants Exotic plant invasion and competition, causing loss of native plants special to tangata whenua, threatening native species, limiting plants for medicines and weaving.
Modification of landscapes Changing or destroying significant landmarks, reference points, modifying/changing river and stream courses, places special to tangata whenua, impacts on wāhi tapu and ancestral sites such as pā.
Cultural issues
Maintenance/protection of Wāhi tapu such as urupā
Title or management of discrete sites of special significance
- culturally significant sites
- historic sites
- spiritually significant sites
Alienation from land, lack of authority over things Māori , lack of consultation, lack of acknowledgement of mana whenua status and recognition of tangata whenua. Low priority given to identification and protection of Māori values, and sites regarded significant to tangata whenua. Very little involvement in planning.