Source: Environmental Protection Authority
09 August 2018
We have created a short animated video to introduce New Zealand and international businesses to concepts that will help them engage with Māori, before applying to us for an environmental approval.
Doug Jones, Manahautū (General Manager) of Kaupapa Kura Taiao, the EPA’s Māori advisory team, says that when decisions are being made about the management of the environment, it’s essential to take Māori interests and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi into account.
“Māori cultural practices have a strong environmental bases, and the wellbeing of the land and the wellbeing of the people are closely tied together so we’ve written the protection of Māori rights and interests into law,” Doug says.
“In short, individuals or businesses that are planning to submit an application or proposal to us need to engage with Māori groups whose interests could be affected by the application.”
However, many of the EPA’s applicant organisations have no prior experience of doing so. Hence the video.
“Here at Te Mana Rauhī Taiao (Environmental Protection Authority), we value the knowledge of tangata whenua alongside that of contemporary science. We actively seek input from Māori into our activities and decision making.”
Doug says that because this is a very important part of the EPA’s decision making, the new short video explains why organisations applying for an approval need to engage with Māori, show consideration not only of how their proposal may affect our environment, but also the rights and interests of Māori and other New Zealanders.
“We all need to be thinking about the long game,” Doug says. “It’s expressed in the whakatauki (proverb) ‘Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua’, which means ‘As man disappears from sight, the land remains’.”
Find out more in the short animation below.