The fight for indigenous rights has existed at a global scale since the 1970s (Lane & Hibbard, 2005) but has only been recognised via international declaration (namely, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People) since 2007. In light of increasing discussions around indigenous rights, local and national governments are coming under pressure to address issues of social justice in this field. Since the Local Government Act 2002, local governments in New Zealand have been given significant powers and responsibilities within their local jurisdictions which include statutory obligations to cater to the interests of local Māori (Cheyne & Tawhai, 2008). How local governments take into consideration Māori interests appears frequently in New Zealand literature and is broadly the concern of this report. There are, however, gaps concerning how local governments can best utilise mātauranga Māori in order to better meet their statutory obligations or further still to give fair authority to Māori voices in light of their status as indigenous peoples. This research explores the challenges and opportunities relating to the incorporation of Mātauranga Māori into local government decision-making.
This research project was supported by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, University of Auckland and Auckland Council.