• Active project

Enabling kaitiakitanga and EBM

Exploring how Kaitiakitanga and EBM can operate alongside one another within coastal and marine environments.

Project Leader Duration Budget
Lara Taylor (Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research) & Dan Hikuroa (University of Auckland) June 2020 – June 2023 $638,900


Aotearoa New Zealand’s increasingly degraded coastal and marine environments are, in part, a consequence of the radical ecological changes following colonisation. The colonising processes sidelined mātauranga Māori and Kaitiakitanga-based environmental management in favour of scientific knowledge, and associated environmental management and governance approaches.

We need new marine management approaches that incorporate multiple forms of knowledge, including scientific and mātauranga Māori. Any new approach must also address Māori rights, interests and values as Treaty partners, mana whenua and kaitiaki.

This project explores how science and mātauranga Māori – the knowledge systems informing ecosystem-based management (EBM) and Kaitiakitanga – can better inform the governance and management of the marine and coastal environments of Aotearoa.

This project explores 2 key questions:

  1. What are the alignments and differences between Kaitiakitanga and EBM, and how can these approaches successfully work together?
  2. How can place-based practitioners, policy makers and others engaged in EBM bring both science and mātauranga Māori together to underpin decision making?

The project team is co-developing a practical kete of strategies and tools that practitioners can use for collaborative, Tiriti-based, kaitiakitanga and EBM approaches in environmental governance and management at local, regional and national scales.

The Project Advisory Group comprised a diversity of experts from across the three spheres of influence (rangatiratanga, kāwanatanga and relational).

Research Team

Lara Taylor (E Oho!)
Dan Hikuroa (University of Auckland)
Meg Parsons (University of Auckland)
Desna Whaanga-Schollum (DWS Creative ltd)

Related News


This is a national project.


  • September 2020
    Meet with co-developers to discuss strategy and confirm case studies
  • November 2020
    Publish opinion piece about exemplars of Indigenous-informed EBM to address environmental degradation
  • September 2021
    Co-designed strategy for action-oriented workshops circulated within Project Advisory Group
  • February 2022
    Recording of discussion panel and report from Kawanatanga workshop made available
  • October 2022
    Final strategy for co-production of a practical kete of strategies and tools
  • May 2023
    Kete completed, packaged and disseminated to co-development partners, key end-users, the Challenge and wider partners
  • June 2023
    Webinar disseminating project findings