• Active project

Indigenising the blue economy

Addressing key barriers that currently prevent Māori from using their marine resources in a more culturally relevant, economically impactful, and environmentally sustainable manner

Project Leader Duration Budget
Jason Mika (Massey University) & John Reid (J D Reid Ltd) September 2021 – August 2023 $800,000


This project is exploring three themes identified by Māori as constraints in achieving restorative Indigenous blue economies. 

These themes are: 

  1. Pāhekoheko (integration) – supporting Māori-led integrated planning 
  2. Auahatanga (differentiation) – kaitiaki centred products and business models 
  3. Whakatautika (balance) – creating opportunities for Māori in coastal communities 

We are partnering five iwi and pan-iwi entities and Māori enterprises to explore and support Māori who aspire to a blue economy imbued with mātauranga Māori, treaty principles, and a focus on Māori wellbeing, human potential and relational balance with Tangaroa as our tīpuna (ancestors). 

These are: 

This mahi is extending earlier research by the Whai Rawa, Whai Mana, Whai Oranga project, which mapped the Māori marine economy, its institutions and enterprises, and the business models they employ.

Image: Ngāti Kahungunu Inc on Te Matau a Maui, Waka Hourua © Desna Whaanga-Schollum, 2013

Research Team

Jason Mika (Massey University)
John Reid (J D Reid Ltd)
Matthew Rout (Applied Research Collective)
Jay Whitehead (Matatihi Ltd)
Annemarie Gillies (Whitimaia Ltd)
Fiona Wiremu (Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi)
Georgia McLellan (Te Au Rangahau)

Co-Development Partners

Cerasela Stancu (EnviroStrat)
Chris Rosin (Lincoln University)
Dan Hikuroa (Auckland University)
Deena Whaitiri (Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi Trust)
Elizabeth MacPherson (University of Canterbury)
Jymal Morgan (Te Rūnanga o Ōnuku)
Kim Drummond (Te Ohu Kaimoana)
Rawinia Lewis (Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Asset Holding Company Limited)
Rik Tainui (Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu)
Steve Urlich (Lincoln University)
Te Taiawatea Moko-Mead (Te Ohu Kaimoana)
Tony Blackett (Hokotehi Moriori Trust)
Trevor Moeke (Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Asset Holding Company Limited)

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This is a national project.


  • June 2022
    Draft literature review on research themes across case studies
  • November 2022
    Draft reports for each case study
  • March 2023
    Final reports for each case study
  • July 2023
    Presentations based on case studies and final synthesis report completed
  • August 2023
    Online or physical launch of reports and findings