CrazyAmbitious Presentation

Māori Biosecurity Network, Te Turi Whakamātaki

Crazy & Ambitious 2017

8-10 May 2017 / Te Papa, Wellington

Presentation by Melanie Mark Shadbolt at the first national meeting of the New Zealand’s Biological Heritage Ng Koiora Tuku Iho National Science Challenge. The kōrero discusses network activities, research priorities and future plans, as well as engagement methods for working with Māori.

Melanie Mark Shadbolt, Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University & Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, Landcare Research, New Zealand

Why do Māori researchers strongly encourage ‘Māori perspectives’ in New Zealand’s national science framework? Why do they insist that kaupapa Māori research is a viable methodology for conducting research, and why does the science system support this? Aside from meeting Treaty obligations, what benefit does all of this have for science and researchers?

With increasing numbers of biosecurity incursions threatening our taonga species, the need for Māori participation and solutions in the biosecurity system has never been greater. Yet often Māori wants and needs are ignored, lost or forgotten in what is a rapidly changing, crowded and confusing biosecurity system. Acknowledging the numerous issues relating to how to engage with Māori in this space, Te Turi Whakamātaki was created to solve the problem of how to engage with and ensure Māori are a vital part of New Zealand’s biosecurity system.

The establishment of a National Māori Biosecurity Network, Te Turi Whakamātaki, with a focus on the management of pre- and post-border biosecurity threats, is timely given the launch of New Zealand’s National Science Challenges and in particular the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. The network is designed to bring together Māori involved in protecting our biological resources from biosecurity risks and threats, and it is intended that this network will be able to provide timely and accurate information to Māori communities (iwi, hapū, whānau), industry and agencies on biosecurity issues and Māori priorities.

Te Turi Whakamātaki held regional hui in 2016 and a small wānanga in 2017 (with another planned for June), has established an interim executive, and has released position statements on the recent myrtle rust incursion and the brown marmorated stink bug risk and possible solution. The network is also involved in Predator Free 2050 discussions, Biosecurity 2025 working and steering groups, co-hosting a session on ‘Myrtaceae plant health in the Pacific region’ with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Island Arks Australia in Fiji later this year, and is participating in several research programmes. T