Achieving socio-cultural outcomes and aspirations through Māori economic development: An insight from Ngāti Awa

Thursday, 18 June 2015
Chief Judge Layne Harvey
Rāwiri Tinirau
Prof Annemarie Gillies

Ngāti Awa is an iwi (tribal grouping) located in the Eastern Bay of Plenty area, in the North Island of New Zealand. The iwi experienced disadvantage as a result of government-enacted land confiscation and legislation, crippling the social, cultural, political and economic base of the iwi. Comprising 22 hapū (sub-tribes) and 19 marae (traditional gathering places), Ngāti Awa now has a youthful population of over 19,000. In 2005, Ngāti Awa received a Treaty settlement from the New Zealand Government, valued at $42m, which included land and cash. This initial asset base has grown; however, there continues to be socio-economic, political, environmental and cultural challenges. This presentation focuses on Ngāti Awa responses and insights into Māori economic development, which is considered a vehicle for achieving socio-cultural outcomes and aspirations for the iwi. A distinct Ngāti Awa approach to the research drew from kaupapa Māori theoretical positioning. Characteristics of Māori economic development for Ngāti Awa emphasise social, cultural and environmental imperatives, often determined by underlying cultural values, principles and practices of the iwi. The vision for economic development, from a Ngāti Awa perspective, directly aligns and contributes to the overall vision of the iwi.