Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Māori bird names and iwi preferences

Image courtesy of  Pei Jones Collection.

Image courtesy of Pei Jones Collection.

We are working to develop protocols so Māori bird names used in biodiversity reports are the preferred names for the region and iwi involved.

When sharing biodiversity information with the wider community, using locally-preferred Māori bird names provides one mechanism for reflecting the relationships between tangata whenua and birds.

By working with Māori and other parties involved in major restoration projects in Hawke’s Bay and Otago, we aim to review how locally-preferred Māori bird names are used to disseminate biodiversity information in region and, where necessary, to identify mechanisms for improving those practices.

Finding preferred Māori bird names with iwi

We will record which birds are of particular interest to the hapū involved, as well as their preferences for bird names for use in biodiversity reporting. This information will be recorded through focus group discussions and interviews with Māori in each region, as well as by scanning historical literature.

On the basis of these discussions, we will draft a protocol for identifying locally-acceptable Māori bird names for biodiversity reporting. We will then test, review and refine it, by applying it to a locally-relevant bird data and inviting feedback on the resulting reports from the focus groups.

Ensuring reporting reflects iwi preferences

Our research explores whether the Māori bird names currently used in biodiversity reports reflect local iwi preferences. It also aims to test whether the protocols for identifying locally-preferred Māori bird names are likely to be adopted by other parties, in particular those involved in local restoration initiatives.

We are working closely with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, the Department of Conservation, and their stakeholder partners involved in local restoration projects including the Cape-to-City initiative. We are also collaborating with the Landscape Connections Trust and their stakeholder partners to support the Beyond Orokonui initiative in Otago.