April 21, 2015
Kaitiaki critical to biosecurity
The role of Maori in tackling invasions by hostile plants and animals is to be boosted with a new National Maori Biosecurity Network.
Dr Amanda Black from Lincoln University’s Bio-Protection Research Centre says the aim is to link Maori scientists and kaitiaki and create a culturally safe place for Maori to discuss biosecurity issues of importance to them.
She says it should give Maori more say in setting biosecurity priorities.
Dr Black says Maori views have in the past been ignored or dismissed, despite the role of tangata whenua in the front line of biosecurity.
"These ones that practice kaitiakitanga out there are the ones that brought to the forefront kauri die-back in Auckland. It was only practicing kaitiaki that alerted scientists to the problem. That's how a lot of our biosecurity incursions are recognised, by the public, not actually by scientists," Dr Black says.
The National Maori Biosecurity Network will hold hui around the country to discuss current threats and what Maori can do to stem foreign invaders of the plant and animal kind.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA BLACK CLICK ON THE LINK
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