Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The incorporation of Māori environmental values as part of the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Implementation Programme in the Wellington Region, Aotearoa New Zealand

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posted on 2021-12-09, 09:45 authored by Rowden, Bryn Cal Hickson

In recent years, there has been significant efforts to create frameworks in which Māori values are incorporated as part of environmental management processes in Aotearoa New Zealand(Forster, 2014; Harmsworth et al., 2016). This research explores the factors that influence the incorporation of Māori values at the local government level, and what barriers Māori values face to being incorporated in environmental management. This research focused on a case study of the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committe Implementation Programme process in the Wellington region. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect information on the opinions of members of the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee. The interviews were analysed using a critical theory approach. The research found that there was a clear discrepancy between the values and behaviours expressed by some non-Māori members of the Committee. The result of such a discrepancy was that Māori values were not sufficiently part of environmental decision making. Such a discrepancy was a result of the political structures of the Regional Council’s Whaitua Implementation Programme process. The majority of the decision-making power was found to be situated ‘higher’ up in the organisation, outside of the Committee. Overall this research found that there are important opportunities to make sure iwi values are not only included, but form the basis of decisions.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Environmental Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

950308 Mātauranga Māori (Māori Knowledge)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Thomas, A.