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Title: A Maori experience of natural resource management in New Zealand : politics, culture and the legal framework
Author: Forbes, Huia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 5506
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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The role of indigenous people in environmental management is subject to the legal framework imposed by a dominant ‘Western’ culture (McGregor, 2009, Kahn, 2013). Provision for indigenous participation in environmental decision making often allows for only a single voice, assuming homogeneity within a framework that seeks biophysical sustainability (Coombes, 2005). Indigenous people are disenfranchised from making a meaningful contribution from their perspective (Jackson, 2006). This has been the case for Maori in New Zealand who have been alienated from their lands and are reliant on statutory participatory processes to engage with environmental management. The methods of participation, their operation and failures are well documented. Yet there has been little analysis of the ways in which indigenous participation occurs that explores the political context critically (Coombes et al, 2012). In particular there is little in-depth research that examines the ways in which indigenous people might try and find a place within the legal framework and the impact this has within their own tribe, with other Maori and on their culture and identity. This ethnographic, participant observation aims to find out whether the New Zealand environmental management framework has space for distinctive Maori participation. The tribe have to create identities that fit into the non-Maori legislative structure. The iwi identity is highly contested with other Maori tribal groups. There are often negative personal consequences of engaging in environmental management leading to considerable institutional fragility. As a result strategic relationships develop between Maori themselves and with non-Maori. The implementation of the resource management framework assumes Maori issues are ‘cultural’, fixed and historic. When tribes engage in the processes they find their potential limited by this implementation. This classification is reinforced both through participation in the system and broader environmental management practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available