B3 Council Chair James Buwalda says the Council is committed to fulfilling its Treaty obligations by having Māori representation at a governance level and acknowledging the essential knowledge Māori bring to the conversation to ensure New Zealand is effective in its approach to biosecurity.  The B3 Council agreed to appoint the two new members following its decision earlier this year to strengthen partnership with Māori as part of the B3 collaboration.

Holden Hohaia, GM Māori Partnerships at Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research), was nominated by Te Ara Pūtaiao, the across-Crown Research Institute forum of senior Māori managers. Holden’s iwi affiliations are Ngāti Maruwharanui and Taranaki Whānui-Te Ātiawa. He is currently the chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Maru and served recently as a negotiator for the iwi’s Treaty settlement. A qualified lawyer and active advocate for his iwi in kaupapa kaitiaki and taiao initiatives, he is also a trustee on a number of other iwi governance entities and Māori land trusts.

Melanie Mark-Shadbolt was nominated by Te Tira Whakamātaki, as an independent member of the Collaboration Council.  Melanie is of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Te Atiawa, Mackintosh and Gunn descent. She is an indigenous environmental sociologist and is currently the Kaihautū Chief Māori Advisor to the Ministry for the Environment, the Director Māori of NZ’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge and CEO of Te Tira Whakamātaki.  She is a specialist in traditional knowledge issues in the areas of biosecurity and sustainable natural resource management. Her recent work has focused on developing research partnership models, utilising both modern science and indigenous knowledge, to create solutions for current environmental issues.  Her leadership of Te Tira Whakamātaki has also been very effective in enabling a Māori biosecurity network with a particular focus on matauranga Māori.

“Māori have much to contribute to successful biosecurity for New Zealand.  The B3 collaboration acknowledges Māori as tāngata whenua and looks to embrace Māori perspectives through connections with kaitiaki and mana whenua.  This approach enables the B3 programme to create a genuine partnership model through which we can achieve our strategic objectives,” Dr Buwalda said.

“Holden and Melanie bring considerable mana to the B3 Collaboration Council.  Between them, they have a lot experience relevant to the B3 programme, as well as extensive networks across iwi and hapū.  I am confident they will challenge and support us to strengthen the integrity of our commitment to partnership with Māori,” he added.

Better Border Biosecurity (B3) is a multi-partner, science collaboration that researches ways to reduce the entry and establishment of new plant arthropod pests and pathogens in New Zealand.  B3 is aligned to New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.

For more information contact:

Wanda Vivequin
B3 Communications Support
021 368 197
[email protected]