Enhancing the expression of kaitiakitanga with the aid of information technology and systems

This report outlines key IT results from a 6-year creative activity [1] programme (FRST, 2008) named Manaaki Taha Moana aimed at understanding how hapū [2] and iwi involvement in kaitiakitanga can be enhanced with the design, adoption and use of information technology and systems. During this 6-year creative activity a diverse range of information technologies and systems were created and used in two case study projects. One case study involved hapū and iwi of the Tauranga moana involved in a holistic assessment of the wellbeing of Te Awanui, Tauranga harbour ecosystems. Another case study was led by Te Iwi o Ngāti Tukorehe and aimed to extend past efforts to reinstate the mana of coastal ecosystems within their whenua-moana.

This creative activity programme builds upon Massey University’s previous FRST [3] funded creative activity programme with Te iwi o Ngāti Raukawa ki Te Tonga named ‘Ecosystem Service Benefits in Terrestrial Ecosystems for Iwi [4]’. Like its predecessor, Manaaki Taha Moana is a creative activity with a cross-cultural (i.e. Māori/Pākehā), cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional [5] orientation. During the 6-year term of this creative activity, participating teams from the various partner organisations were involved in the development of their own knowledge traditions in ways that supported these 2 hapū and iwi case study projects. Thus, two different worldviews, languages and perceptions of reality coexisted and sought to find expression in this creative activity programme.An epistemological fit for a creative activity of this kind likely exists in what Nicolescu (2005b)describes as “strong transdisciplinarity”.

Results and outcomes outlined in this Report (7a) indicate that uptake and use of digital kaitiaki tools among hapū and iwi participants in this study has been positive. Despite this encouraging outcome, we explain why it may be too soon to comment with certainty on how successful we have been in enhancing the expression of kaitiakitanga with the use of digital tools. As indicated by the scope of this report and its supporting theory reports (i.e. Report 7b and 7c), tangible progress has been made in understanding, designing and evaluating the possible role of digital kaitiaki tools this creative activity programme. Articulating this progress in a report series (Reports 7a, 7b and 7c) has presented a tremendous collaborative writing challenge. However, this ‘Report 7’ series now provides a detailed and comprehensive treatment of this important field of study that will hopefully be of assistance to other Māori pūkenga and Western Scientific researchers seeking written analysis, evaluation, references and synthesis associated with the many important themes presented in this summary Report (7a).


[1] In this report we preference the use of the word ‘creative activity’ rather than research. This alternative name appears to have been first used in a government policy document on Māori involvement in research, science and technology (MORST 2005).

[2] A glossary of Māori terms (with relevant Māori to English translation) is provided in Appendix I.

[3] Foundation for Research, Science and Technology

[4] FRST contract number MAUX0502

[5] Participating institutions include Massey University, Cawthron Institute, Waka Digital with support of Te Manaaki Awanui Trust, Taiao Raukawa and Te iwi o Ngāti Tukorehe

Report reference and download

McCallion, A., Cole, A. O. me ōna tūpuna, Hardy, D. and Patterson M. (2014) Enhancing the expression of kaitiakitanga with the aid of information technology and systems. Kōrero Māori report 12, iPansophy Limited, Tauranga, New Zealand. [Download]





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