The Place of Land: Selected Interviews with Maori on Industrial Forestry in East Coast Aotearoa/New Zealand

Authors: Chris Castagna*, California State University, Sacramento
Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Australia and New Zealand
Keywords: Indigenous, environment, globalization, forestry
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Chairman's Boardroom, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Maintaining connections to land is a key practice for Native peoples. With the understanding that Māori are diverse and dynamic peoples, this article seeks to highlight some of the complexity of Māori articulations about place, culture, and identity through the lens of forestry. As is the case with all peoples and cultures, being Māori does not necessitate a monolithic identity, even within any given hapū (sub-tribe) or iwi (tribe) grouping. The processes of globalization continually reshape the relationships between people and place, as well as how resources are defined, developed, and used. Scientific forestry as a means to ensure a regular supply of timber and wood produce is an example of an evolving worldwide phenomenon that ties together people, organisms, and technology from many regions, states, and locales. The practice of forestry, however, differs from place to place. In New Zealand, large-scale forestry is based around plantations composed of exotic trees. A critical characteristic of New Zealand forestry is that much of the lands that have been utilized for wood production belong to Māori. These lands are often owned collectively and are administered by a trust or corporation. Drawing from conversations and informal interviews conducted with selected Ngāti Porou Māori in the East Coast of New Zealand, this article examines how factors, such as the carbon credits market, cultural values, and economic development, are navigated and play into Māori perspectives with regard to industrial forestry.

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