SAC # 95

We All are One: The Research and Co-Management of Customary Fisheries in Aotearoa (Part 1)



TIME | 28 September 2010, 4pm onwards

LOCATION | CSAFE Seminar Room, , Dunedin

SPEAKER | Pip Pehi


In the research areas of land resource management, land governance, environmental science and science in general, little attention is paid to social and cultural considerations. Most contemporary analyses of land management and land use focus on, or privilege, the concepts of land as economic resource (especially in monetary terms), recreational value, or as actual or potential sites for the conservation of flora and fauna. This focus does not easily allow for the alternative indigenous conception of land and people as engaging in a symbiotic and interdependent relationship. ‘Ka Ora Te Whenua, Ka Ora Te Tangata’ is a research project conducted over a three-year period to investigate the relationship between the health and well-being of our environment, and of our people and their communities within the area of customary fisheries. Over thirty groups involved in customary fisheries were engaged with throughout Aotearoa, and seven case studies selected, stretching from Rakiura/Stewart Island at the bottom of the South Island, to the Hokianga at the top of the North Island. Fifty people from these case studies consented to giving intensive interviews. This project originated from the wider nationwide project Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai (TMK). The vision for TMK is to trigger improved cultural, social, economic and environmental outcomes from kaitiakitanga (guardianship) through research around the effective establishment and management of mātaitai and taiāpure (customary fishing reserves) where there is an emphasis on ‘the interface between mātauranga Māori and Western science’. Themes and lessons from this research will be presented over two seminars.

This seminar (Part 1) will present on the actual research process in the natural resources area itself as reported on by research participants. Parallel concerns for the co-management of resources were articulated by respondents. The key areas presented in this seminar will be: i) autonomy, ii) leadership, iii) models of research process and co-management of resources, and iv) the application of these findings in local, national and international contexts.

This seminar also draws on two other smaller research projects undertaken as a result of engagement with participants and their communities. The first of these was “Building Research Capacity within Social Science (BRCSS)” aimed to increase social science capacity within the area of customary fisheries. This three-tiered project funded by the BRCSS network had two postdoctoral fellows who acted as mentors and supervisors and supported three postgraduate students in the social components of their research projects. This project also provided funding for three internships in social science to work on research initiatives identified by communities in conjunction with the postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students within the Otago and Canterbury regions.

“The Restitution of Marae and Communities through Mahinga Kai: Building the Management of Māori Customary Fisheries” was a scoping project funded by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga to identify the barriers, obstacles and potential solutions to conducting research in the area of local customary fisheries from a ’flax roots’ level. This project involved liaising between researchers from different institutions, community researchers and the communities themselves in two distinct areas (Taranaki and Northland).

About the Speaker

Pip Pehi (Ngapuhi, Hapū: Te Mahurehure; Ngaruahine Rangi) is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand. She has recently completed a Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Pip served as the Principal Researcher for Ka Ora te Whenua, Ka Ora te Tangata, a research project that aimed to blend participatory action research and Kaupapa Māori research to elucidate the link between the well-being of individuals and their communities with the health of their land. She has also served in various roles to support Māori students to succeed in their studies at Otago University. Pip completed a PhD in social psychology from Otago University and is a qualified clinical psychologist. Beyond the academic world, Pip has worked in a number of therapeutic settings to foster and support well-being for people including: residential therapeutic community for male offenders, public child and adolescent mental health, and care of the elderly within the hospital setting.


This seminar is part of Te Tiaki Mahinga kai’s Te Hao Mātauranga series ( 


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