Te Ara Maori mo te Taiao

Māori pathways for the environment. All around the country, iwi and hapū are pro-actively planning for the future.

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Te Ao Turoa
Environmental Kaitiakitanga


One major strand of this work is in resource management planning. In the past, a lot of effort was put into responding to council requests for consultation on case-by-case basis. Increasingly iwi/hapū are getting proactive, putting together their own plans and developing their own ways of recording sites of significance, monitoring environmental health, etc. By basing plans on the knowledge, concerns and values of tangata whenua, iwi/hapū are in a better position to make decisions about resources, and to decide where to take action.

Iwi management plans or iwi environmental plans are great tools for informing councils when they are developing regional policy statements, regional plans and district plans.  They are also useful for iwi/hapū themselves in responding to resource consent applications.

Some iwi have undertaken State of the Takiwa reports, which are a culturally-based environmental monitoring and reporting system. Other tikanga-centred resource management methods include Cultural Health Indices for assessing the health of waterways or the coast, and the Mauri model of assessing whether a proposal will degrade or enhance mauri.

“Māori consider ourselves to be genealogically related to all aspects of the natural world through our descent from Ranginui – the sky father – and Papatūānuku – the earth mother. It is through Ranginui and Papatūānuku, from the children of who all parts of the natural world descend, that we believe ourselves to have a familial relationship with our environment and all its component parts. This understanding is critical in shaping Māori management and use of the natural environment and its resources.” From Kennedy (2008) A Wilder Lens: An Iwi Planning Perspective, Maori Report 6, p5.

Key idea: Māori resource management planning – Creating a generation of knowledge that extends beyond today.


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