Ko Au Te Moana, Ko Te Moana Ko Au: Te Rangatiratanga Me Te Kaitiakitanga o Roto i Te Rāngai Kaimoana Māori (I Am The Ocean, The Ocean Is Me: Rangatiratanga And Kaitiakitanga In The Māori Seafood Sector)
Thesis DisciplineInternational Relations and Diplomacy
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Prior to 1840, rangatira exercised exclusive and unqualified sovereignty over their lands and fisheries within their respective jurisdictions. However, this sovereignty was subsequently taken away from them through colonisation following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This has had debilitating flow-on effects on the ability of Māori to exercise rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga today. To illustrate the challenges facing Māori and iwi in their pursuit of rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga, this study draws on the case study of the Māori Seafood Sector. Specifically, it investigates the question “what factors inhibit and enhance rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga in the Māori Seafood Sector (MSS)?”
This study finds that the factors inhibiting and enhancing the rangatiratanga of Māori in the MSS generally revolve around sovereignty and the possession and exercise of customary proprietary rights. Furthermore, this study finds that kaitiakitanga generally revolves around the Māori cosmological worldview of the land, ocean and all environment as ancestral beings imbued with mauri. In this sense, Māori are umbilically connected to the environment through whakapapa. This is the foundation through which Māori see their roles as Kaitiaki (guardians) of the environment with the responsibility to nurture and protect its mauri to ensure it is maintained for future generations.
This study draws on the ‘inside-out model of transformation’ to analyse the factors inhibiting and enhancing rangatiratanga. The theory suggests Māori focus on Māori needs, aspirations and preferences and challenge their own thinking to circumvent colonisation of the mind. In addition, the theory of ‘relational wisdom’, which focuses on the interconnected relationships within the environment, will be used to analyse the factors that enhance kaitiakitanga while ‘dissociation’, the opposite of relational wisdom, will be used to analyse the factors that inhibit kaitiakitanga. This mixed-method study draws on secondary data analysis and qualitative data collection through semi-structured interviews with a total of fifteen Kaikōrero Māori (Māori interview participants) of varying backgrounds and interests in the MSS.