Threading the basket of knowledge: the role of iwi and hapū management plans for natural hazard research design

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Kaiser LH, Saunders WSA, Taylor L. 2020. Threading the basket of knowledge: the role of iwi and hapū management plans for natural hazard research design. Lower Hutt (NZ): GNS Science. 19 p. (GNS Science miscellaneous series; 137). doi:10.21420/YDHD-2507.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Vision Mātauranga policy has created a clear message for researchers in Aotearoa/New Zealand—that research conducted in Aotearoa New Zealand should recognise and support the “unlocking of the innovative potential of Māori for the benefit of all New Zealand” and be designed with a clear engagement pathway. However, there is still confusion amongst many researchers on where to begin when considering the Vision Mātauranga component of their research. Who are the tangata whenua of the area? What is their history? What are their priorities? How would they like to be engaged? These are some of the question’s researchers should be considering in order to produce more compelling and culturally-appropriate research proposals. Iwi and Hapū Management Plans (IHMPs) are legislated under the Resource Management Act 1991. They provide a desktop resource a researcher can use as a starting point to inform research and engagement with iwi and hapū. IHMPs are highly valuable documents for envisioning how specific research expertise may be of interest to iwi—they outline iwi or hapū priorities, they have environmental and resource-based objectives, methods, and actions. In addition, they often outline the preferred engagement process. Despite this, our research found that only 22% of natural hazard researchers surveyed used them in their research process. This report will outline some findings from three surveys evaluating the confidence of Crown Research Institutes and National Science Challenge researchers regarding Vision Mātauranga research policy, and if/how IHMPs are being used in the design and implementation of research projects. Some of the key themes that emerged from natural hazard researcher respondents at GNS Science was the low level of awareness that IHMPs exist and are accessible; a lack of natural hazard information in the plans; that the content of IHMPs were extremely variable; and surprise at the large number of IHMPs that were available. The report will conclude with a series of recommendations for researchers who are starting to engage with Vision Mātauranga principles. (auth)