Launch of new research website mauriOmeter; Mauri Piki, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora!!
The 5 October 2011 grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti was acknowledged as the worst environmental disaster in New
Zealand’s history. The grounding and subsequent pollution had significant environmental impacts that were experienced in
anthropogenic terms as well impacts upon social, economic, and cultural well-being - this damaging the mauri.
Mauri is the life supporting capacity of an ecosystem including the people who co-exist within its environment. When the
mauri is damaged its restoration requires the recognition of important meta-physical considerations that are not
included in conventional impact assessment and decision making.
The Ministry for the Environment responded with the Rena Long-Term Environmental Recovery Plan launched on 26 January
2012. The plan’s goal is to “restore the mauri of the affected environment to its pre-Rena state”. Ngā Pae o te
Māramatanga and Principal Investigator, Dr Kepa Morgan, responded by commencing research to answer the question, “How do
we return the mauri to its pre-Rena state?” Kepa has employed his Mauri Model Decision Making Framework as an ideal
approach to investigate this challenge and determine the sustainability implications of disaster mitigation strategies
being utilised. His participatory action based research approach is being enhanced through the mauri-Ometer tool to
allow independent analysis by any party affected by the MV Rena grounding.
The research team has created the mauri-Ometer website which facilitates the absolute sustainability assessment of
decision choices by individuals. The mauri-Ometer assesses the environmental impact of decision choices as indicators
grouped in four equally weighted mauri dimensions: environmental, cultural, social and economic well-being. The impact
upon mauri is determined as the change in life supporting capacity of the indicator being considered.
The utility and value of this tool in New Zealand is clear, given legislative requirements and Treaty of Waitangi
considerations. These mauri dimensions represent the holistic perspective that Indigenous peoples have of their
evironment, that are also acknowledged in New Zealand legislation.
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and the research team will launch this website following a research seminar by Dr Kepa Morgan
on the 21st August 1-3pm at Waipapa Marae, The University of Auckland.
Attendance is no charge – but registration is essential. Please register at http://www.maramatanga.ac.nz/news-events/events/mauri-o-meter
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) is a Centre of Research Excellence consisting of 16 participating research entities and
hosted by The University of Auckland. NPM conducts research of relevance to Māori communities and is an important
vehicle by which New Zealand continues to be a key player in global indigenous research and affairs. Its research is
underpinned by the vision to realise the creative potential of Māori communities and to bring about positive change and
transformation in the nation and wider world. Visit www.maramatanga.ac.nz