Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Massey researcher cultivates plans for Mäori gardens

Massey researcher cultivates plans for Mäori gardens


Cultivating indigenous knowledge along with good health by reviving traditional Māori communal māra kai (food gardens) is the longterm vision of a Massey University planning researcher.

Hayley Millar (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Tāne) is examining how planners can support Māori in re-establishing and sustaining Māori māra kai as part of New Zealand’s cultural heritage.

Developing indigenous gardens as a community resource will enable Māori to continue spiritual and cultural practices through growing traditional crops, she says.

Ms Millar, a Master of Resource and Environmental Planning student, has just been awarded a $10,000 Whānui Agricultural Scholarship by the Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust and the Federation of Māori Authorities for her project.

She will be interviewing planners in areas with high Māori populations in the North Island, such as the Bay of Plenty. She will also talk to caretakers of indigenous gardens – such as Te Para Para in Hamilton – to find out what support and planning regulation changes are needed for developing Māori historic food gardens elsewhere.

A keen gardener herself, Ms Millar has set up successful community gardens at marae in the Rangitikei area, with māra kai, fruit trees and herb gardens.

“There are multiple benefits – cultural, social, health, environmental and economic – in re-establishing māra kai based on traditional knowledge and practices, and located on Māori historic sites,” she says.

“The gardens create a space where kaumātua can pass on their knowledge of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori (customs) to the younger generations.

“Māori gardening is significant to Māori development and is viewed as a pathway for Māori to reconnect with their customary traditions and contribute to cultural advancement,” she says. “It’s imbued with Māori cultural, spiritual and environmental values and customary practices.”

Māori traditionally grew and harvested crops such as kūmara, and hue (gourd) brought from East Polynesia when they first migrated around 1200 AD. Customs relating to cultivation of crops included the use of karakia during planting and harvesting. Some iwi required a kuia (female elder) to be in attendance when a kūmara crop was harvested.

In a paper she wrote with supervisor Associate Professor Caroline Miller, titled Māori Food Gardens:

Revived Heritage and Community Resource, presented at the recent Making Cities Liveable conference, Ms Millar looked at the role of marae and barriers to setting up gardens, and identified several planning issues.

While indigenous food gardens could be considered as heritage sites and symbols, she says there are also complexities in awarding them protective status. There is a risk such gardens could be disregarded because less tangible elements associated with them – such as manākitanga (hosting customs and protocol) – are not easily recognised under criteria for heritage status, she says.

Ms Millar, who has a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning (Hons) from the School of People, Environment and Planning, is also researching and producing a documentary for the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing looking at how current māra (garden) projects can promote community cohesion, connection to place, and the retention and development of cultural traditions.

She hopes her research will help to identify and resolve existing planning barriers to setting up food gardens, and that councils and communities will embrace the concept because of the many benefits for Mäori communities.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Balance Of Trade: NZ Posts Trade Deficit In October On Falling Dairy Exports

New Zealand’s posted its largest monthly trade deficit for October in six years, while narrowing the shortfall from September, led by a fall in dairy exports to China while all main imports into the country rose. More>>

ALSO:

Gigatown Winner: Plenty Of Positives For Dunedin

Although the city has taken the Gigatown title, along with new ultrafast 1Gbps broadband and funding for $700,000 worth of UFB-related initiatives across the community, Mr Cull says Dunedin has gained so much more through its involvement. More>>

ALSO:

R18: The Warehouse Group Praised For Removing Games

The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Air NZ Wine Awards: Victory For Villa Maria As Pinot Noir Thrills

It was a night to remember as Villa Maria Estate picked up one of the highest accolades of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, at the 28th Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough ... More>>

ALSO:

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news