Glossary of terms

Mauri: "...the life energy or unique life essence that gives being and form to all things in the universe. Tikanga had emerged around this duty bringing with it an intimate knowledge and understanding of our local environmnets and a set of rules that guide our way of life, both spiritual and secular" (Barnes, A. 2006. Citing Whaia te Mahere Taiao a Hauraki: Hauraki Iwi Environmental Plan (16/06/2006)).

Mana: prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power, charisma - mana is a supernatural force in a person, place or object (Source:

Dynamic: describes any system not static but changing over time. Complex systems have interrelationships that inter-react and influence each other over certain time periods. These influences (or feedback loops) may be exerted quickly or with a significant time-lag. In general humans have trouble taking time-lags and feedback loops into account and so instead assume that the situation is static or a linear relationship will exist in the future.

As a result the consequences of decision-making are only weakly connected to the reality that takes place in the future. Lack of understanding of the ‘dynamics’ within and among systems may result in policy decisions with unintended, potentially disastrous consequences.

Integrated: considers the 4 well-beings (social, cultural, economic and environmental) simultaneously. This is done quantitatively where possible and qualitatively where not.

Mediated modelling (MM): refers to “modelling as a mediation tool”. It uses computer-based interactive modelling with participants who don’t have to be modellers themselves to benefit from the structured approach of unravelling a complex topic and jointly learn to achieve a better understanding. Misconceptions and contentious issues (trade-offs) for a group of participants can be revealed quickly. Potential solutions can be explored within the safe space of a model. MM can be used to guide a group of about 20 participants from vision (we all want a clean and productive urban environment) to an action plan. MM provides a flexible simulation model that can be used by participants to “benchmark” future implementation actions and guide research needs from “the next step” toward “vision”.

Stakeholders: key individuals or representatives of groups/organisations whose viewpoint is important to have in the dialogue if an acceptable solution is to be forthcoming.

Spatially explicit: Demonstrates importance of “where” in addition to “what” and “how much”.

Integrated Decision Support (IDS): A range of modelling tools that can be used for long-term integrated planning and resource management.

Multi-scale: connects local, regional, national and global scales.

Vertically integrated: connects different agencies/organisations operating at the same level.

Horizontally integrated: connects different agencies/organisations in the existing hierarchy.

Adaptive management: Adaptive management is defined as a systematic process for improving management policies and practices by systemic learning from the outcomes of implemented management strategies and by taking into account changes in external factors in a pro-active manner (Pahl-Wostl et al., 2010).

Systems thinking:  Identifies linkages, feedbacks and (unintended) consequences of projected change.

Action research: “action which is intentionally researched and modified, leading to the next stage of action which is then again intentionally examined for further change and so on as part of the research itself.” (Yoland Wadsworth, Everyday Evaluation On The Run, 2nd edition, 1997, Allen & Unwin, p. 78.) Action research requires ‘critical reflection’ to explore how and why things happened and the relevance of the assumptions underpinning the analysis.

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