Kauriland Summit 2021
Pou: Te Whakahononga
Q&A / Discussion
How is this approach different to what you typically experience as mana whenua trying to work with or engage with researchers?
We’re supporting researchers and scientists to work directly with the mana whenua of those BMAs so that they (mana whenua) are engaged early, and they have full disclosure of all the science and research, rather than being engaged in the program as it goes.
Mana whenua can find out research information or science learnt about the ecosystems or the tools that are being created at the same time as the scientist/researcher. Mana whenua are involved in the development of the project rather than being approached after the resourcing has already been committed by the scientist/researcher.
It sounds like the cultural agreements process relies more widely on safe data infrastructure that adopts levels of stop-go security levels for information access. Are the conversations that reach into the design and implementation of an architecture, also data architecture?
I was thinking of the way data gathering, storage and sharing is privileged. And whether this could be an opportunity to disrupt accepted Western practices and invite new conversations about how data architecture might work?
Māori have always protected their information, data, and the way in which our narrative is being relayed. We have a thing called taonga tuku iho, which is the inter-generational sharing of information and data. Our culture is an oral tradition. With technology, wider social networks and media are picking up the way in which Māori articulate their existence or their lens on the world, these things are shared more widely. Ultimately the source of the data, it’s just like anything with an integrated surveillance. We talk about data being temporal so it has authenticity at the time that it is loaded to a website or to a social media platform. (Waitangi Wood’s) perspective is that even if it’s not true, or someone’s truth, it is seen as authentic at the time of uploading. The information comes from a source, and we have validity of that source, how that information is transferred and is being heard. With new technologies we’re able to be more sophisticated about that. But certainly, Māori have always had methods and approaches for protecting information, and data, because that basically is our narrative. That’s the way we describe ourselves. And that’s the way we retain our cultural individuality or distinction.