Mātauranga Māori

  • Invasive Vespula wasp on an apple.

    Invasive Vespula wasp on an apple.

The trickster wasp Dr Ocean Mercier, Victoria University of Wellington

Aotearoa New Zealand has the opportunity to lead the world in bringing indigenous perspectives to the development of new tools and technologies for pests. Researchers from the Novel wasp control technologies and Social licence for pest control teams are working with the Māori Biosecurity Network (Te Tira Whakamātaki) to consider the use of emerging genetic and genomic technologies to control wasps. Also to better understand concerns about, or new ideas from, the communities on whose whenua (land) the technologies will ultimately be deployed.

Team member Dr Ocean Mercier published a paper on the ‘trickster wasp’ in the Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, and the project teams have incorporated mātauranga concepts into a public survey of more than 8,000 respondents that included the views of just over 1,000 Māori on novel pest control technologies. Future results will inform their work exploring Māori beliefs and values towards these technologies.

Mercier, RO. 2017. Bringing the ‘trickster wasp’ into the discourse on biotechnological controls of ‘pest wasps’. MAI: A New Zealand Journal of Indigenous Scholarship 6: 74−81.

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