Harvesting the Fruits of Papatūānuku
Māori have used geothermal waters and materials for centuries, yet in contemporary times only a few iwi groups have developed their geothermal resources, even though geothermal energy has sustainable and renewable attributes. One barrier to development has been a clear pathway that incorporates kaitiakitanga responsibilities into the development process.
This project addresses the issue by creating a geothermal development model that meets both governmental consent requirements and kaitiakitanga obligations. The Kaitiaki Geothermal Development Model (KGDM) integrates geothermal science, engineering, appropriate governance and management systems with investment opportunities, all underpinned by kaitiakitanga. The KGDM gives stakeholders a voice and assesses the sustainability of various geothermal development options.
To date the project team led by Dr Dan Hikuroa has created a preliminary KGDM by using another decision-making framework, the Mauri Model, as a starting point. The Mauri Model is based around kaitiakitanga principles and assesses the sustainability of four dimensions: environmental, social, economic and cultural. It is unique to the New Zealand context as it is designed to fit the Resource Management and Local Government Acts and is grounded in mātauranga. The Mauri Model provides the base structure of the KGDM.
The second stage of creating the KGDM is exploring capital investment and funding options and analysing current models, for example joint venture partnerships and exploring Māori owned enterprises. The team has established ongoing relationships with several iwi groups and geothermal bodies during the course of the project, and plans to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones. They are working on fine-tuning the KGDM and hope to have the preliminary model completed by late 2011.
Hikuroa, D. (2012, April). Who says Māui wasn’t a scientist? Strategies to increase Māori participation in science. To Know Is Not Enough – American Education Research Association Annual Meeting. Vancouver, Canada.
Hikuroa, D. (2012, June). Developing Maori Geothermal Resources. Presented at Maori Business Forum 2012: Unlocking Maori Business Opportunities Through Capability Development and Industry Partnerships, Auckland, New Zealand.