Economic theory and accounting methods to support the goal of Māori cultural survival

This is a digital video recording of a Powerpoint presentation given to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee (2nd May 2018), a Post Treaty settlement co-management entity established by Act of Parliament.

The title of this presentation is ‘economic theory and accounting methods to support the goal of Māori cultural survival”. This presentation explores the idea that Māori cultural wellbeing and survival goals are inextricably connected with the participation of Māori in (i) New Zealand’s mixed market economy and (ii) the re-instatement of the Māori cultural economy. To support this thesis, I present findings from recent genuine progress indicator accounting research (internationally) which shows how market economic growth is intimately coupled with decline in ecological, social and financial wellbeing. I then explore the effects of a mixed market economy in New Zealand on what I define as the Māori cultural economy (i.e. te whānau o Rangi rāua ko Papatūānuku).

This spatial and empirical analysis shows that the introduction and expansion of New Zealand’s mixed market economy is coupled with decline in the Māori cultural economy. A primary reason that decline in the Māori cultural economy has gone unnoticed and unchecked may be found in our over dependence on financial accounting practice. To remedy this accounting blindspot, I describe an emerging model of Māori cultural accounting (i.e. Tātari Tauututu) and attempt to show how it is better aligned to the measurement of progress towards the goals of Māori cultural wellbeing and survival.

Key readings

Firth, R. W. (1929). Primitive Economics of the New Zealand Māori (1st ed.). USA: George Routledge & Sons Ltd.

Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the oppressed. London, England: Penguin Books.

Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonising methodologies: research and indigenous peoples (2nd ed.). Dunedin, N.Z.: Otago University Press.

Conditions of use
This video recording has been made available to support non-commercial, transdisciplinary educational activities. Elements of this presentation are covered under differing copyright and indigenous (Māori) knowledge protection including the full expression of kaitiakitanga and rangatiratanga. These rights and responsibilities include the use of visual images from the public domain. For this reason, no part of this digital publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the various copyright owners, kaitiaki and rangatira. If you have questions concerning an intended use of this video presentation beyond viewing it online, in the first instance please contact

Leave comment