Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Māori Social Capital: An exploration through a history of farming awards

Abstract for a paper I'm going to give at the upcoming Agri-Food XVI conference, University of Auckland...

Abstract: Through the post-contact history of Māori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa/New Zealand, runs the history of some of modernity’s most radical technological revolutions. In a little over two centuries, Māori transitioned from a stone-age people through mercantile capitalism and its military accoutrements; fought intensive wars over land and commerce among themselves and with foreign invaders; and survived threats of cultural, even physical, extinction. Recovering through a politico-cultural renaissance in all its artistic and commercial socio-technologies, Māori now engage in corporate ventures that have a significant presence in the agri/aqua-food sectors. Throughout this history, a constant trope of Māori culture and development has been the importance of family and tribal networks of trust, support and guidance. This very traditional social capital has been complemented, challenged and perhaps supplanted by networks that originate with assimilationist and modernising ideologies of colonisation. These networks now comprise the sociability in which Māori individuals and collectives aid and abet their development.

Yet much debate seems to centre on the clear lack of Māori social capital. Standard social indicators continue to communicate the vulnerability of Māori after two centuries of contact. In the areas of employment, health and education, Māori ‘lag’ behind Pākeha and, more importantly, their own aspirations. While winning many legal, political and commercial battles, Māori collectively experience an uneasy relationship with State and corporate authority. Such dis-ease is now exacerbated by a recession that has seen a rapid increase in Māori unemployment and a corresponding dismantling of many social programmes. Once again, Māori sociability is under threat.

The antidote to this paralysis is evidently greater/better/more economic development. Strategic eyes turn to Māori agricultural development, the ‘sleeping giant’ of New Zealand’s economy which, through antecedent pathways of a Māori role in primary production, embed pathways to the future. The newly rekindled Te Ahuwhenua Trophy, awarded annually to the Māori ‘Farmer-of-the-Year’, has seen Māori incorporations of several thousand hectares with thousands of head of stock, extensive agro-forestry, large-scale dairying, and strategies for continued expansion and productivity gains. Their boards and management engage in debates over sustainability, carbon credits, and added-value exports that require international benchmarking for best practice in financial, legal and managerial operations. But the context in which businesses such as these exist is increasingly challenged by global and local discourses concerning ecological (Kates, 2001; Kawharu, 2002), social (Durie, 2005; UN Millennium Project, 2005) and cultural (Charters, 2007; Lambert, 2008a) resilience. Although often simplified along economic lines through concepts of tangible and intangible capitals, the debate around social and cultural capitals are so complex that their ‘solution’ will epitomise transdisciplinarity.

This paper investigates the concept of social capital through an examination of Māori farming. Historical data from entrants of Māori farming awards is coupled with that of contemporary entrants to provide a template for describing Māori social capital and its change over time. Innovation diffusion discourse, particularly its treatment of technological innovation and tradition and modernity, allows further insight into social capital in general, and enables a clearer understanding of the achievements and challenges of Māori society in particular. I attempt to outline a) the context of contact, development and socio-cultural boundary crossing by Maori farmers, and b) the movements and actions of social capital in Maori farming.


Adger, W. N. (2000). Sociological and ecological resilience: Are they related? Progress in Human Geography, 24, 347-364.
Anderson, A. (2002). A Fragile Plenty: Pre-European Maori and the New Zealand Environment. In E. Pawson & T. Brooking (Eds.), Environmental Histories of New Zealand (pp. 19-34). Auckland: Oxford University Press.
Anderson, A., Park, J., & Jack, S. (2007). Entrepreneurial social capital. International Small Business Journal, 25(3), 245-272.
Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London: Verson.
Anderson, G. (2001). The Merchant of the Zeehaen: Isaac Gilsemans and the voyages of Abel Tasman. Wellington: Te Papa Press.
Arregle, J.-L., Hitt, M., A., Sirmon, D., G. , & Very, P. (2007). The Development of Organizational Social Capital: Attributes of Family Firms*. Journal of Management Studies, 44(1), 73-95.
Arrow, K. (1999). Observation on social capital. In P. Dasgupta & I. Serageldin (Eds.), Social Capital: A multifaceted perspective (pp. 3-5). Washington: World Bank Publications.
Ausubel, D. P. (1960). The Fern and the Tiki. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.
Bairoch, P. (1973). Agriculture and the Industrial Revolution 1700-1914. In C. M. Cipolla (Ed.), The Fontana Economic History of Europe: The Industrial Revolution (pp. 452-506). London and Glasgow: Collins.
Beaglehole, J. C. (1955). The Journals of Captain James Cook on His Voyages of Discovery, I, The Voyage of the Endevour, 1768-1771 (Vol. 1). Cambridge: Hakluyt Society.
Bedggood, D. (1978). New Zealand's Semi-Colonial Development: A Marxist View. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology, 14(3), 285-289.
Beer, G. (1996). Traveling the Other Way. In N. Jardine, J. A. Secord & E. C. Spary (Eds.), Cultures of Natural History (pp. 501). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Belich, J. (1996). Making Peoples: A History of the New Zealanders: from Polynesian Settlement to the end of the Nineteenth Century (Vol. 1). Auckland: Penguin Press.
Best, E. (1972). Tuhoe, Children of the mist. Auckland: Reed Publishing.
Blaikie, P. (1975). Family Planning India: diffusion and policy. London: Edward Arnold.
Blaikie, P. (1978). The Theory of the spatial diffusion of innovations: a spacious cul-de-sac. Progress in Human Geography, 2, 268-295.
Blaikie, P. (1985). The Political Economy of Soil Erosion in Developing Countries. London: Longman Scientific & Technical.
Blaikie, P., & Brookfield, H. (1987). Land Degradation and Society. London and New York: Methuen.
Blainey, G. (1966). The tyranny of distance: How distance shaped Australia's history. Sun: Melbourne.
Blaut, J. (1977). Two Views of Diffusion. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 67(3), 343-349.
Blaut, J. (1993). The Colonizers Model of the World; Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History. New York and London: The Guildford Press.
Bowen, G., A. . (2009). Social Capital, Social Funds and Poor Communities: An Exploratory Analysis. Social Policy & Administration, 43(3), 245-269.
Brookfield, H. (1975). Interdependent Development. London: Methuen.
Castiglione, D. (2008). Social capital as a research programme. In D. Castiglione, J. van Deth & G. Wolleb (Eds.), The Handbook of Social Capital (pp. 177-195). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Castiglione, D., Van Deth, J., & Wolleb, G. (2008). Social Capital's Fortune: An introduction. In D. Castiglione, J. Van Deth & G. Wolleb (Eds.), The Handbook of Social Capital (pp. 1-10). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Charters, C. (2007). Maori and the United Nations. In M. Bargh (Ed.), Resistance: An Indigenous Response to Neoliberalism (pp. 147-165). Wellington: Huia Publishers.
Coates, K. S. (Ed.). (2004). A Global History of Indigenous Peoples: Struggle and Survival. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Crosby, R. D. (1999). The Musket Wars: A history of inter-iwi conflict 1806-45. Auckland: Reed.
Diamond, J. (1997). Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W.W. Norton and Co.
Durie, M. (2005). Nga Tai Matatu/Tides of Maori Endurance. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Easton, B. (1996). Towards a Political Economy of New Zealand. Unpublished manuscript, Dunedin.
Fanon, F. (1986). Black Skin,White Masks (C. L. Markmann, Trans.). London: Pluto.
Firth, R. (1973). Economics of the Maori. Wellington: A.R. Shearer, Government Printer. (PhD Thesis, University of London)
Fuller, D. (1978). Maori Food and Cookery. Wellington: A.H. and A.W. Reed.
Gould, S. J. (1996). The Mismeasure of Man. New York: Norton.
Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78, 1360-1380.
Granovetter, M. (2005). A theoretical agenda for economic sociology. In M. Guillen, R. Collins, P. England & M. Meyer (Eds.), The New Economic Sociology: Developments in an emerging field (pp. 35-60). New York: Russell Sage Foundation
Grey, A. (1994). Aotearoa and New Zealand: A Historical Geography. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press.
Griliches, Z. (1957). The diffusion of hybrid corn technology.
Habermas, J. (1981). Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalisation of Society (T. McCarthy, Trans., Vol. 1). London: Heineman.
Hagerstrand, T. (1952). The propogation of innovation waves. Lund Studies in Geography, B, 4.
Hagerstrand, T. (1967). Innovation Diffusion as a Spatial Process (G. Haag, Trans.). Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. (Innovationsforloppet ur korologisk synpunkt)
Haggett, P. (1975). Geography: A modern synthesis (2nd ed.). New York: Harper International.
Hanifan, L. (1920). The Community Centre. Boston: Silvere, Burdet and Company.
Hargreaves, R. P. (1959). The Maori Agriculture of the Auckland Province in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 68(2), 61-79.
Hobsbawm, E. (1973). The Age of Revolution.
Huber, F. (2009). Social capital of economic clusters: Towards a network-based conception of social resources. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 100(2), 160-170.
Jenkin, R. (1999). Strangers in Mohua: Abel Tasman's Exploration of New Zealand. Takaka: Golden Bay Museum.
Jones, A. (2007). Ka whawhai tonu matou: The interminable problem of knowing others, Inaugural Professorial Lecture, UNiversity of Auckland, 24th October
Kaasa, A. (2009). Effects of different dimensions of social capital on innovative activity: Evidence from Europe at the regional level. Technovation, 29(3), 218-233.
Kates, R. (2001). Sustainability Science. Science, 292, 641.
Kawharu, M. (Ed.). (2002). Whenua: Managing our resources. Auckland: Reed.
King, M. (2003). Penguin History of New Zealand. Auckland: Penguin Books.
Lambert, S. (2008a). The Expansion of Sustainability through New Economic Space: Maori potatoes and Cultural Resilience. Saarbruken: Vdm Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. Kg.
Lambert, S. (2008b). The Expansion of Sustainability through New Economic Space: Maori Potatoes and Cultural Resilience. Unpublished Doctoral thesis, Lincoln, Christchurch.
Latour, B. (1991). Technology is society made durable. In J. Law (Ed.), A Sociology of Monsters: Essays on Power, Technology and Domination (pp. 103-131). London: Routledge.
Law, J. (1991). Introduction: monsters, machines and sociotechnical relations. In J. Law (Ed.), A Sociology of Monsters: Essays on Power, Technology and Domination (pp. 1-25). London and New York: Routledge.
Lazarsfeld, P. F., & Merton, R. K. (1954). Friendship as a social process: A substantive and methodological analysis. In M. Berger, T. Abel & C. H. Page (Eds.), Freedom and Control in Modern Society (pp. 18-66). New York: Van Nostrand.
Leach, H. (1984). 1,000 years of gardening in New Zealand. Wellington: Reed.
Lerner, D. (1958). The Passing of Traditional Society: Modernising the Middle East: Free Press.
Lidz, V. (2009). Talcott Parson on full citizenship for African Americans: retrospective interpretation and evaluation. Citizenship Studies, 13(1), 75-83.
MacKenzie, D., & Wajcman, J. (Eds.). (1999). The Social Shaping of Technology (2nd ed.). Buckingham: Open University Press.
Macrae, J. T. (1975). A Study in the Application of Economic Analysis to Social Issues: The Maori and the New Zealand Economy. Unpublished PhD, University of London, London.
McKinnon, M. (Ed.). (1997). New Zealand Historical Atlas/Ko Papatuanuku e Takoto Nei. Auckland: David Bateman Ltd.
McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Cook, J. M. (2001). Birds of a Feather: Homopily in Social Networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 415-444.
Metge, J. (1964). A New Maori Migration: Rural and Urban Relations in Northern New Zealand. Parkville: Melbourne University Press.
Ministry of Social Development. (2006). The Social Report: Indicators of Social Wellbeing in New Zealand. Wellington: Ministry of Social Development.
Morrill, R., Gaile, G. L., & Thrall, G. I. (1988). Spatial Diffusion. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
Myrdal, G. (1944). An American dilemma: The negro problem and modern democracy. New York: Harper & Bros.
Parsons, T. (1965). Full citzenship for the American Negro? In T. Parsons & K. Clark (Eds.), The Negro American (pp. 709-754). Boston: Beacon Press.
Parsons, T., & Clark, K. (Eds.). (1965). The Negro American. Boston: Beacon Press.
Peck, J. (2005). Economic Sociologies in Space. Economic Geography, 81(2), 129-175.
Petrie, H. (2006). Chiefs of Industry: Maori Tribal Enterprise in Early Colonial New Zealand. Auckland: Auckland University Press.
Polack, J. S. (1976). Manners and Customs of the New Zealanders; with Notes Corroborative of their Habits, Usages, etc., and Remarks to Intending Emigrants, with Numerous Cuts Drawn on Wood (Vol. 1). (1840)
Portes, A. (1998). Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1-24.
Putnam, R. (1995). Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital. Journal of Democracy, 6(1), 65-78.
Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling Alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Putnam, R. (2007). E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century; The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30(2), 137-174.
Putnam, R. (Ed.). (2002). Democracies in Flux: The evolution of social capital in contemporary society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Putnam, R., Leonardi, R., & Nanetti, R. (1993). Making Democracy Work: Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Rapp, F. (1981). Analytical Philosophy of Technology (S. R. Carpenter & T. Langenbruch, Trans., Vol. 63). Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.
Rapp, F. (1999). The Material and Cultural Aspects of Technology. Techne: Journal of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, 4(3).
Redclift, M. (1990). The Role of Agricultural Technology in Sustainable Development. In P. Lowe, T. Marsden & S. Whatmore (Eds.), Technology Change and the Rural Environment. London: David Fulton.
Robinson, D., & Williams, T. (2001). Social capital and voluntary activity: Giving and sharing in Maori and non-Maori society. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, December 2001(17), 52-71.
Rogers, E., & Shoemaker, F. F. (1971). Communication of Innovations: A Cross-cultural Approach (2nd ed.). New York: The Free Press.
Rout, E. (1926). Native Diet: With numerous practical recipes. London: William Heinman.
Ryan, B., & Gross, N. C. (1943). The diffusion of hybrid seed corn in two Iowa communities. Rural Sociology, 8, 15-24.
Sabatini, F. (2009). Social capital as social networks: A new framework for measurement and an empirical analysis of its determinants and consequences. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 38, 429-442.
Salmond, A. (1997). Between Worlds: Early exchanges between Maori and Europeans, 1773-1815. Auckland: Viking.
Salmond, A. (2000). Maori and modernity: Ruatara's dying. In A. Cohen (Ed.), Signifying Identities: Anthropological perspectives on boundaries and contested values (pp. 37-58). London: Routledge.
Schaniel, W. C. (1988). New Technology and Culture Change in Traditional Societies. Journal of Economic Issues, 22(2), 493-498.
Scholten, P., & Holzhacker, R. (2009). Bonding, bridging and ethnic minorities in the Netherlands: changing discourses in a changing nation. Nations and Nationalism, 15(1), 81-100.
Solow, R. M. (2000). Notes on social capital and economic performance. In P. Dasgupta & I. Serageldin (Eds.), Social Capital: A multifaceted perspective (pp. 6-12). Washington: World Bank.
Sorrenson, M. P. K. (Ed.). (1986). Na To Hoa Aroha: From Your Dear Friend: The correspondence between Sir Apirana Ngata and Sir Peter Buck 1925-1950 (Vol. 1). Auckalnd: Auckland University Press.
Stock, E. (1899). History of the Church Missionary Society (Vol. 1).
Stokes, E. (1970). European discovery of New Zealand: Review of the evidence. New Zealand Journal of History, 4, 3-19.
Stokes, E. (2002a). Contesting Resources: Maori, Pakeha, and a tenurial revolution. In E. Pawson & T. Brooking (Eds.), Environmental Histories of New Zealand (pp. 35-51). Auckland: Oxford University Press.
Svendsen, G. L. H., & Sorensen, J. F. L. (2007). There's more to the picture than meets the eye: Measuring tangible and intangible capital in two marginal communities in rural Denmark. Journal of Rural Studies, 23, 453-471.
Tarde, G. (1903). The Laws of Imitation. New York: Henry, Holt and Co.
UN Millennium Project. (2005). Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. New York: United Nations.
Underwood, G. (2000). Mormonism, the Maori and Cultural Authenticity. The Journal of Pacific History, 35(2), 133-146.
Urlich, D. O. (1970). The Introduction and Diffusion of Firearms in New Zealand 1800-1840. Journals of the Polynesian Society, 79(4), 399-410.
Walker, R. (2001). He Tipua: The Life and Times of Apirana Ngata. Auckland: Viking.
Williams, R., & Edge, D. (1996). The social shaping of technology. Research Policy, 25, 856-899.
Woolcock, M. (1998). Social capital and economic development: Toward a theoretical synthesis and policy framework. Theory and Society, 27, 151-208.
Woolcock, M., & Narayan, D. (2000). Social capital: Implications for development theory, research, and policy. The World Bank Research Observer, 15(2), 225-249.
Yapa, L. (1977). The Green Revolution: A Diffusion Model. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 67(3), 350-359.
Yapa, L. (1979). Ecopolitical economy of the Green Revolution. Professional Geographer, 31(4), 371-376.
Yapa, L., & Mayfield, R. C. (1978). Non-Adoption of Innovations: Evidence from discriminant analysis. Economic Geography, 54, 145-156.
Zhou, M. (2007). Revisiting ethnic entrepreneurship: Convergencies, controversies, and conceptual advancements. In A. Portes & J. DeWind (Eds.), Rethinking migration: New theoretical and empirical perspectives. Oxford/New York: Berghan Books.

No comments:

Simon Lambert

Create Your Badge