Friday, October 09, 2015

National Statement of Science Investment 2015–2025

The government has launched a new science strategy in its efforts to harness our national intelligences and curiousities to the yoke of economic growth.

Matauranga Maori features, as it has done for several strategic statements now, dating back to the original Vision Matauranga strategy, 'To unlock the innovation potential of Maori et cetera, et cetera...

Couple of interesting points in the latest government interpretations of Maori practices and knowledge:

Kaitiakitanga – an emerging approach to environmental management based on traditional Māori principles, concepts, values and views of the environment.

I agree Kaitiakitanga is evolving but to say it is emerging is only true in the sense that the government is increasingly willing to incorporate Kaitiakitanga into its wider environmental management strategies. The risk is that funding and state support is now open to new interpretations including the thoughts and practices of Pakeha. I say this having witnessed a dramatic increase in the numbers and seniority of Pakeha researchers appropriating VM funding and therefore assuming key roles in 'unlocking our potential'.

I remain skeptical until process and personnel our within our control...

As for Matauranga, an articulated extension in its ambit is announced:

Mātauranga Māori – is a body of knowledge first brought to New Zealand by Polynesian ancestors of present-day Māori. Mātauranga Māori can exist, and be understood and applied, at various levels, including: broadly by Māori across New Zealand; or at regional, tribal, and whānau levels. Mātauranga Māori can also include the processes for acquiring, managing, applying and transferring that body of knowledge.

Yes. In other words our cultural logics are now to be explicitly included in how knowledge held by and relevant to the Indigenous People of Aotearoa New Zealand is controlled.

Lot of battles yet to come, and perhaps the Crown is naive to the implications of this statement, but as the right to decide what is true is related to the right to decide what is just, then game on. 

PS: Interesting list of submitters

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Simon Lambert

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