Senior leaders from Landcare Research paddling down the Whanagnui River (Te Awa Tupua). The team forged a partnership with Ngā Tangata Tiaki to discuss the application of our research to contribute to the healing and restoration of the river and landscape, a place of special spiritual importance for Māori.
Landcare Research’s goal is to be the preferred research and innovation partner to Māori to enhance the well-being and value of land-based natural resources.
This year, Landcare Research made good progress towards that goal. In July 2015, we appointed a General Manager Māori Development, who refreshed our Māori sector strategy through engagement with a cross-section of Māori leaders. The strategy, which we will implement between 2016 and 2018, will address priorities for Māori in the areas of land and natural resources research, help Manaaki Whenua be more proactive in engaging Māori stakeholders on potential opportunities for collaboration, and support mātauranga Māori research. Concurrently, we established a new programme to grow internal capability and capacity to deliver on these commitments.
Landcare Research developed a number of new Māori partnerships and programmes in 2015/2016. Some examples include scoping work for Te Awa Tupua in partnership with Ngā Tangata Tiaki and the Whanganui Awa Settlement Trust; a project on land mapping for Ngāti Porou; and a natural resources project for Ngāti Hineuru. In line with our partnership approach, we have committed to at least two new appointments to support Vision Mātauranga goals, 3 Māori summer internships, and two Māori PhDs annually for the next 3 years to develop the pool of Māori researchers over the medium to long term.