Creating Guidelines for Genomic Research in Taonga Species

Maui Hudson, Ari Thompson, Phillip Wilcox,Jason Mika, Chris Battershill, Matthew Stott, Robert Brooks, and Lisa Warbick
Thursday, November 19, 2020

The diverse and far-reaching applications of genomic research has made it an indispensable tool in the advancement of science and innovation globally. The integration of genomics in fields such as healthcare, conservation, as well as commercial endeavours has so far enabled promising developments for the environment, the economy and the wellbeing of society at large. Indigenous groups both in Aotearoa and abroad have an understanding that in order to bridge the gap between being mere subjects of research and becoming autonomous equal partners, that they must set the rules of engagement with cultural values as the foundation.

Māori are the kaitiaki of taonga; therefore, research practices of genomic researchers must recognise Māori rights and interests in taonga species. These are rights that are guaranteed under the Treaty of Waitangi. The Waitangi Tribunal’s 262 report gives effect to the recognition of kaitiakitanga over taonga species and mātauranga, and creates the beginnings of a framework whereby research on taonga species can be done in accordance with Treaty obligations.

This presentation outlines the development of the Guidelines for Genomic Research on Taonga Species through a project funded by Genomics Aotearoa. The presentation is part of a panel on Creating Guidelines for Genomic Research in Taonga Species alongside Jason Mika/Robert Brooks and Lisa Warbrick.