Saturday, July 10, 2004

Te Ohu Whenua Conference

This conference was held at Massey University, July 8th and 9th, and highlighted the achievements of Maori in agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Speakers came from a range of disciplines, including the dark side, namely Politricks! Yes, proceedings opened with speeches from Parekura Horomia and Dover Samuels, followed by cups of tea and Jim Sutton, Minister of Agriculture. I wagged that particular session, and given the comments afterwards did not miss much. Prof. Steve Wratten evidently skewered the Hon. gentleman with one of the those annoying questions that shoot a number of the parading fluffy ducks.

I'm working on a summary of the conference proceedings (my 'Place of Place' paper included, see below). There was acknowledgement of the 'sleeping giant' of Maori ag-hort enterprise but like I keep banging on about: Who gets What?!

Of course there has been considerable movement in what is now funded by both public and private supporters of research. One presentation (by Fiona Duncan) highlighted the Sustainable Farming Fund. This fund has supported over 100 projects, although not by stumping up with all of the necessary cash instead requiring payment in kind (love that term) and/or moni. NCABT is supporting at least one application that I'm aware of, in connection with Maori horticulture, surely a combination unimaginable ten years ago.

Proceedings are published (edited by Evelyn Hurley, copies available from and I'll summarise those papers that are relevant to my research.

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