ABSTRACT

The future of Aotearoa New Zealand’s biodiversity is intimately linked to the health of Māori environmental knowledge, the ability to work within different philosophical traditions, and a willingness to work at the intersections of philosophy, cultural practice and science. Māori environmental philosophies and knowledge systems (mātauranga) are themselves intricately rooted in and shaped by Pacific pathways and shaped by the oral traditions that connect Pacific journeys, encounters with new landscapes, and the ongoing socio-environmental and political experiences of today. This chapter maps some of the opportunities and challenges in Aotearoa New Zealand today for working at the nexus of mātauranga and western knowledge, from genomics to freshwater. This chapter demonstrates that scientists who work with Māori environmental knowledge, or mātauranga more broadly, are part of a shifting inter-disciplinary landscape of solution building at national and international scales, where considerations of intellectual property rights, ethical research partnerships, data sovereignty and community empowerment all contribute to best outcomes.