Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Kaimangatanga – Māori perspectives on plant-based kai

Gathering together many different perspectives on kaupapa Māori veganism or plant-based kai and ethics is just a starting point for University of Canterbury (UC) Ngata Centenary Doctoral Scholar Kirsty Dunn.

It is work she hopes will lead to a deeper understanding of kaimangatanga and the broader issues surrounding food sovereignty. During her MA research studies at UC, Ms Dunn, who is a postgraduate member of UC’s New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies, considered representations of Western meat production and consumption in contemporary fiction and the portrayal of concerns about intensive animal agriculture.

For her current research, which began as part of a UC Summer Scholarship in 2016, she has switched her primary focus from Western ideas to Māori perspectives on alternative and plant-based diets and how these relate to dominant ideas about kai and associated concepts such as health, cost, production, sustainability and animal welfare.

It is the start of a journey for Ms Dunn, whose iwi are Te Aupōuri and Te Rarawa from Te Tai Tokerau. She is discovering many entry points to kai and its surrounding issues: online searches have revealed a growing community of Māori discussing kaupapa Māori plant-based kai and ethics via social media sites, websites and podcasts.

“In different spaces we exchange recipes, provide tautoko (support) and explore the influences that Māori values, concepts, narratives and experiences have on our approaches to kai and plant-based kai in particular. There has also been some news coverage of Māori plant-based ethics and initiatives including recent coverage of Tūrangawaewae marae in Ngāruawāhia and the incorporation of plant-based kai information into the marae menu.”

These may be seen as part of wider initiatives with similar kaupapa (themes, ethics, ideas), such as those centred around healthy kai, food sovereignty and kaitiakitanga.

Different perspectives, common whenu (threads)

Ms Dunn has identified common threads or whenu (pillars) running through different perspectives of ‘kaimangatanga’ (veganism or plant-based ethics), which Māori have drawn on in different ways. The following are among the pou she highlights:

Whakapapa encompasses relationships, connections, origins and layer-making, as well as relationships between people, other species, the environment, ancestors and atua. It is also used in regard to the origins of kai and production processes. Whakapapa informs Ms Dunn’s research into both Māori literature and kaimangatanga.

Manaakitanga (or uplifting the mana of others, reciprocal hospitality) is a concept that underpins the provision of more nutritious kai, such as wholefoods, fresh fruit and vegetables, to visitors.

Tino rangatiratanga captures ideas about exercising sovereignty over oneself and making decisions that don’t necessarily align with the status quo – in this case, the dominant meat culture in Aotearoa New Zealand. It may also involve drawing on the practices and knowledge of tūpuna (ancestors) and of decolonial diets, namely eating endemic plants species and using plants as rongoā (medicine).

Kaitiakitanaga encompasses guardianship, not only of the environment but also of other species, of mātauranga (knowledge) and of resources for current and future generations. Wrapped up in this thread is the concept of sustainable kai.

Finding common ground

Debate on food in the Western context can become polarised between the rationale supporting intensive animal agricultural practices and vegan ethics.

Ms Dunn suggests that the ethics she is exploring have the potential to act as an intermediary between the two, as well as in discussions about alternative plant-proteins and issues such as genetic modification and lab-grown meat.

“Perspectives from tangata whenua regarding plant-based kai ethics, food sovereignty and decolonial diets based on the principles I identified in my research can provide various avenues for critique: they are particularly valuable because they are in and of this place, this whenua.”

This research is an ongoing side project for Ms Dunn. Her main PhD research, ‘Into the Dark, We Are Moths’ – Representing and Reimagining Animals in Māori Writing in English”, is being undertaken under the supervision of Senior Lecturer Mr Garrick Cooper (Māori and Indigenous Studies) and Professors Annie Potts (Cultural Studies) and Philip Armstrong (English).

Though born in Auckland and completing her secondary schooling in Southland, Ms Dunn considers Ōtautahi Christchurch her home town. She completed her BA in English with First Class Honours at UC in 2012 and her MA with Distinction in 2015. She was awarded the prestigious Ngata Centenary Doctoral Scholarship in 2017 for her PhD research and received the Australasian Animal Studies Association award for best postgraduate paper at the association’s 2017 conference in Adelaide.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hope For Nature: A New Deal For The Commons

Joseph Cederwall on The Dig: The current global paradigm is devastating life everywhere by disrupting vital “ecosystem services” like the food, water, and climate regulation systems that both humanity and biodiversity depend on in an interconnected balance.

It is increasingly clear that the primary driver of this crisis is the limiting and infectious worldview around land and resource use so central to the global capitalist system. To fully understand the biodiversity crisis and explore what comes next, it is necessary to address this mind-virus at the heart of our modern civilisation – the dominion worldview. More>>

 
 

SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>

ALSO:

Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Sustainable NZ Isn't Self-Sustaining

Asking whether this new, environmentally focussed party can make the 5% MMP threshold may be the wrong question, though. It's more achievable goal would be to knock the Greens below the 5% threshold ... More>>

ALSO:

Report On Consultation: Future Of Tomorrow's Schools

“The 1989 Tomorrow’s Schools reform introduced one of world’s most devolved schooling systems where each school operates largely in isolation of each other... It empowered local communities and modernised an overly bureaucratic system but also led over time to uneven outcomes between schools.” More>>

ALSO:

National Education Doc:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels