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Maori Biodiversity Strategy Fact Sheet


The Government will spend an extra $2.35 million to increase iwi and hapu participation in managing biodiversity in ways that are consistent with customary knowledge (Matauranga Maori) with the knowledge remaining the property of the particular iwi or hapu. This funding is part of a comprehensive five-year package involving conservation, environment, fisheries and biosecurity, confirmed in this year's Budget to support the Government's Biodiversity Strategy. Other projects in the package will also provide opportunities for Maori involvement as well as protecting biodiversity of value to Maori and biodiversity on Maori-owned land, such as the increased funding going to Nga Whenua Rahui as part of a $37 million package to protect biodiversity on private land.
This funding links to the strategy's goal relating to the Treaty of Waitangi and halting the decline in New Zealand's biodiversity and will also support Government's strategic goals of protecting and enhancing the environment, and strengthening national identity and upholding the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The project

The Matauranga Maori project will establish a new contestable fund to support iwi initiatives to increase their capability to retain and promote traditional Maori knowledge and its use in biodiversity management. The fund will also help increase iwi and hapu participation in processes for managing biodiversity in their rohe (area). It recognises that the use and protection of traditional knowledge is central to Maori participation in biodiversity management.

Under threat

The Biodiversity Strategy identifies the under-use and ongoing loss of Matauranga Maori about New Zealand's biodiversity as a key issue that needs to be addressed for the strategy to be successful. A wealth of knowledge has been lost and is in danger of disappearing forever. Many kaumatua have reliable traditional knowledge related to cultural activities and experiences associated with New Zealand's native biodiversity.
As New Zealand's biodiversity faces new threats, Maori need resources to develop or acquire new knowledge and skills to allow them to effectively participate in biodiversity management.


The existing Nga Whenua Rahui committee will administer the new fund. In the first year, the committee will establish criteria and administrative arrangements, and will call for applications. From year two, funding will cover administration and grants to selected projects.
While the fund is available to Maori only, its use will result in improved restoration and protection of New Zealand's biodiversity, and more sustainable use of it by all New Zealanders.

Community partnerships

Funding will allow the development of more partnerships between iwi and the Department of Conservation, and therefore more meaningful involvement of Maori in biodiversity management.

Funding package details

All figures are GST inclusive.

2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 Total
$40,000 $315,000 $665,000 $665,000 $665,000 $2.35m

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