I graduated with a Masters (Hons) in Natural Resource Management in the early 1990s and have been learning about the Maori environmental space ever since. I’m not a Taiao/Kaitiaki expert by any means but have had the chance to work with and listen to many experts who were or are. Some 30 years down the track I can point to a range of experiences working for iwi, on the marae, on the farm, in local councils, at central government and with industry and developers. They have all shaped me in some form and continue to do so.
In the mid-1990s I travelled around many parts of the country talking about Iwi Management Plans and today find myself now thinking and sharing stories about Farm Environment Plans. I loved Iwi Management Plans because they were written from a basis of local matauranga. I struggle with Farm Environment Plans because I find they are invariably not.
My studies of matauranga have simply affirmed for me how little I know but also revealed how each small fragment can have a resounding impact on my understanding.
If korero is the food of chiefs then I probably over-indulge! Tena tatau.