Margaret Forster

Doctor of Philosophy, (Maori Studies)
Study Completed: 2012
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Hei Whenua Papatipu: Kaitiakitanga and the politics of enhancing the Mauri of Wetlands

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Ms Forster explored contemporary kaitiakitanga with a specific focus on wetland ecosystems and the effects of laws and policy on hapu relationships with whenua. A strong sustainability culture has emerged from a customary understanding of the environment based on mauri and whakapapa and therefore, she argued that key imperatives of contemporary kaitiakitanga are to enhance mauri and increase hapu control over whenua by challenging existing environmental policies and laws. Current environmental policies and laws recognise Maori rights and environmental interests, however only provide for a limited range of interactions with the environment. Challenging existing regimes of practice ensures the state resource management system is more responsive to Maori interests and protects the integrity of the customary practice of kaitiakitanga

Professor Bob Jahnke
Professor Huia Jahnke
Associate Professor Darryn Joseph