• Academic publication

Kia aiō ngā ngaru, kia hora te marino: smoothing the waters in natural resource management to mitigate risk and uncertainty

Hyslop J, Harcourt N, Awatere S, Hikuroa D, Blackett P & Le Heron R (May 2023)

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Aotearoa New Zealand is undertaking reforms in natural resource management, and there are promising signals that Indigenous perspectives will be included alongside science for natural resource management. Any resource management system is underpinned by worldviews, from which values stem and then risk and uncertainty derive. Indigenous (Māori) and Eurocentric notions of risk and uncertainty are fundamentally different because knowledge holders have different worldviews. As Eurocentric worldviews dominate, Eurocentric concepts of risk and uncertainty continue to frame policy, making it challenging for Māori knowledge (mātauranga Māori) to shape policy so that it is relevant for decision-making in Aotearoa.  

We explored Māori perspectives of risk and uncertainty through literature review, identifying common attributes across natural resource management frameworks that are inclusive of Te Ao Māori, and identify issues of risk and uncertainty from the perspective of Māori experts in the natural resource management field. We conclude that a Te Ao Māori approach to enhancing natural resources is more aligned to current environmental policy compared with standard approaches for risk assessment and reducing uncertainty.