Negotiating pest control options with hapū

Dr Maria Bargh - IIRC20
Friday, November 20, 2020

In 2015 the New Zealand government announced the creation of a charitable trust to direct funding towards fulfilling the goal of making the country predator free by 2050. Although Māori had not been involved in the design of the programme, many hapū and iwi greeted the general idea of reducing predator numbers and protecting native flora and fauna with enthusiasm. For many decades hapū and iwi have sought to protect their lands and fulfill their obligations as kaitiaki (guardians).

This paper discusses a research collaboration between Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kea/Ngāti Tuara, Te Herenga Waka- Victoria University of Wellington and Te Tira Whakamātaki (Māori Biosecurity Network) which explored how the people of Ngāti Kea/Ngāti Tuara could fulfil their obligations as kaitiaki and protect the bush and birds of Horohoro mountain located south of Rotorua. The project collated baseline data of Horohoro’s biodiversity and predators and examined pest control options. The paper will detail the process of selecting pest control options and identifying which best suited the hapū. The process involved hui and wānanga with hapū members. With strong feelings held in the community about options such as 1080, careful planning and calm discussion were required. The paper will conclude by providing reflections which may assist other groups that are seeking to identify the most suitable pest control options for their own particular circumstances and how to overcome the challenges of conflicting views.