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Decision Support Systems: Just About Money or More Than That?

Author(s): Te Kipa Kepa Brian Morgan; Tumanako Ngawhika F`Aui; Piatirihi Bennett

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Keywords: Mauri Model; Decision Making; Disaster Recovery; Mauri Ometer; Impact Assessment

Abstract: Thirty years hence indigenous peoples’opposition to development introduced a spiritual and cultural perspective to environmental management hitherto not considered in decision making in New Zealand. Claims made to the Waitangi Tribunal concerned themselves with engineering projects that were denigrating the water ecosystems and environment. Indigenous concepts raised in the Tribunal hearings included; the retention of intrinsic values/mauri; ‘Māori’spiritual and cultural values; enhancing environmental, cultural and social well-being; and future generations. That earlier contribution in defining the relationship of indigenous peoples with their environment has made an invaluable contribution to understanding the recovery effort associated with New Zealand’s worst environmental disaster. The MV Rena ran aground on 5 October 2011, releasing oil, containers and container debris, which was further aggravated three months later when the MV Rena broke in two. Amidst the pragmatic response to the disaster, Te Arawa Ki Tai representatives were proactive in shaping the long-term recovery plan. Subsequently the Ministry for the Environment prepared the Rena Long-Term Environmental Recovery Plan which includes recovery of the mauri of the environment to its pre-Rena state as its goal. The Mauri Model Decision Making Framework acknowledges those valuable insights, and indicates how diametrically opposed cultural perspectives can be better accommodated and engaged, even synthesised to facilitate better resource management decision making. This paper will show how a better understanding of the recovery of the mauri to its preRena state can be facilitated through the combination of scientific and indigenous knowledge, and can produce decisions that are robust and defendable from multiple perspectives. The Mauri Model is unique in its approach to resource management as the framework offers a transparent and inclusive approach to considering the environmental, economic, social and cultural facets of the decisions being contemplated. The Mauri Model is unique because it is capable of including multiple-worldviews and adopts mauri (intrinsic value or well-being) in the place of the more common monetised assessments of pseudo sustainability using Cost Benefit Analysis.

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Year: 2015

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