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He Waka Hourua: Matāuranga and Western science navigate a safe course for future biocontrol

The introduction of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Mātauranga Framework, developed in 2020, is a tool specifically designed to support EPA decision-makers to test and probe mātauranga when it is presented in evidence for EPA applications.

 

The framework focuses on the expressed needs of decision-makers under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO Act), which is designed to protect the environment, the health and safety of people and communities by managing adverse effects of intentionally introduced new organisms.  This is specifically for biocontrol in this kaupapa, however through a Te Ao Māori lens, this can be for any organism being introduced into the country as well as all EPA applications around the use of this framework.

 

The framework aims to be underpinned by tikanga Māori and representing the Māori worldview, with the purpose of integrating Māori voices into these decision-making processes.

 

Feedback from some Māori participants in wānanga relating to this project indicated reservations regarding the consultation process and the perception of mātauranga in this context, the absence of wider iwi/Māori involvement by EPA in the  procedures and decisions, and the potential for dissemination of mātauranga to unknown sources, as a consequence of this process.

 

Our project team will work with various rōpū Māori to identify these challenges and barriers and examine closely how we might appropriately integrate mātauranga Māori into these processes and what this means when working with different Māori rōpū throughout Aotearoa.

 

Contact Co Project Leader: waipaina.awarau-morris@agresearch.co.nz

Contact Co Project Leader: david.teulon@plantandfood.co.nz