TTW CEO part of Caliwoods Campaign
TTW CEO Melanie Mark-Shadbolt was invited to join an expert panel discussing economic reset in a webinar held 11 May 2020, in support of an open letter to the government to prioritise sustainability practices in a post-COVID world.
The open letter contains contributions from industry experts, and demonstrates that by combining Mātauranga Māori, technology and systems already in existence we can:
- Build a strong, resilient economy
- Begin living our international reputation as a green country
- Respect Papatūānuku and her biophysical limits
- Foster inclusive, true wellbeing for our people and the generations to come.
Melanie’s submission to the campaign can be read here:
METHODOLOGIES AND SOLUTIONS FROM INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE
The video ‘Papatūānuku is Breathing’, produced by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and narrated by 11-year-old Manawanui Maniapoto has gone viral around the globe and been translated into both French and Spanish. Its simple message about people stopping to allow nature to rest leans heavily on the connection between man and land, and the stress or impact that can occur when a shift between the two occurs. This concept of interconnections between the environment and people, a co-existence reliant on ‘balance’ is a worldview familiar to indigenous peoples the world over, and embedded in our knowledge and our environmental practices. During the Covid19 response we have talked openly about the rāhui we are all participating in. Rāhui is a form of Māori management utilised by rangatira (leaders) to modify and restrict human behaviour and activity, for the purpose of protecting people and taonga (those things that are treasured), and thus allowing nature to re-establish balance and return to its natural or desired state. In the Covid19 recovery, in a country that exalts and promotes its bicultural roots with Māori, we ask that agencies not forget their Treaty partner whose culture, knowledge and environmental management practices (like rāhui), contain embedded and codified solutions and tools designed for these lands.
So as we reimagine our new world post Covid19, let us imagine one where we tread lightly on Papatūānuku, and we take her needs into consideration in all of our decision-making and investment. Let us lean on what is uniquely us, our remarkable response to Covid19, our beautiful landscapes and international brand of 4.7 million nature lovers, and our Māori culture. Let that guide our investment into the production of sustainable premium products. Investment in the inclusion of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) across all sectors of the Covid19 recovery, would ensure decision-makers have access to other ideas and ways of thinking, and ensure they don’t support activities that harm the environment or people. Let us remember to bring all people, not some people, along in this recovery. We can support the Māori economy to invest in our lands and in our people, and not be tempted to ignore it in favour of offshore investors with little love for, or understanding of, Papatūānuku.
We have found solutions to plant diseases like Kauri Dieback and alternatives to 1080 in the knowledge our tohunga (experts, healers) hold of our indigenous plants and their chemical make-up. As our kaitiaki implore the government to fund them to be the eyes and hands of Papatūānuku, and as our stories from previous natural disasters and pandemics offer us ideas on how best to recover. We ask for solutions that; restore the balance between people and nature; force economic investment not only within the physical limits of our ecosystems, but also within the cultural limits of the Māori worldview; and are inclusive of all peoples and knowledges be supported. For they offer us unique solutions to ensure our recovery is productive, sustainable, inclusive and world-leading.
- Māori leaders are calling for investment in the employment of Māori to perform their duties as kaitiaki of their lands and waters, including undertaking tasks such as pest management, biosecurity surveillance, water quality monitoring, and restoration of our environmental systems.
- To ensure our whānau are supported to be healthy, warm and disease free, Māori desperately need investment in healthy homes; homes that are warm, have access to clean water, are energy efficient etc.
- To ensure we are not further degrading Papatūānuku, Māori have asked for investment in waste infrastructure, especially plastic recycling.
- Protecting the Māori economy and Māori investments is as important as protecting national airlines and large construction companies.