Manaaki Taha Moana (MTM): information technology and systems in kaitiakitanga

iPansophy Limited contributed to the writing of science report number 7 ‘Enhancing the expression of kaitiakitanga with the aid of information technology and systems’. This report seeks to position this Māori-led creative activity in the context of emerging community-based monitoring, action research and adaptive management theory. While literature in these various areas defines the state of current thinking on community mediated monitoring activities, little attempt has been made to explore the relevance of such theory in differing cultural contexts (i.e. in this case New Zealand Māori). Furthermore, we seek to explain how this creative activity attempted to overcome limitations and barriers described in this literature that might also impact on: (i) the involvement of hapū, iwi and/or local kaitiaki in monitoring activities and (ii) the involvement of hapū, iwi and/or local kaitiaki in using information technology and systems to monitor the wellbeing of ngā tai hau ika (i.e. coastal fisheries). While perceived barriers to the adoption and uptake of information technology and systems by hapū, iwi and/or kaitiaki have been deduced from publications on community-based monitoring literature, this study provides initial evidence that suggests many of these barriers can be overcome in a Māori cultural context. Initial results indicate that uptake and use of information technology and systems tools among hapū and/or iwi has met and in some cases exceeded initial exceptions. However, in this report we explain why we feel it is yet to soon to comment with certainty on adoption and use success.

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