Tangled up in pine : Māori perspectives on global industrial forestry in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Author(s)Castagna, Christine Naomi
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AbstractPh.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
This dissertation investigates interactions between local and global forces using the example of Māori responses to the introduction of global industrial forestry to Aotearoa/New Zealand. It follows the shifting relationships between Indigenous peoples, whose are place-based, and Pakeha from initial contact to the contemporary era. It charts how Māori have lost majority control over land and resources during that time. It also documents how the importation of European sensibilities regarding legibility, order, and productivity have impacted upon economic opportunities and forestry management. This work, however, is grounded in the argument that global projects are not simply imposed on locales. Māori have not been passive; they have made, and continue to make, choices from positions that reflect cultural, social, political, economic, and ecological concerns and these decisions have influenced the practice of forestry. They have embraced different opportunities presented by the introduction of European ideas, technologies, lifeforms, and a market-based system, and they have incorporated these into their own systems of meaning and value. The integration of New Zealand into the world economy has not obliterated Māori relationships with land and place, but added new layers of interest and opportunity. Further, they are not monolithic; their decisions reflect diversity within and between any tribal grouping. This research is centered on a set of interviews conducted with selected Native participants from two regions in North Island, New Zealand: Te Urewera-Kaingaroa and Te Tairāwhiti. Using quotes from these conversations, this dissertation will show that while Māori are keenly aware of the ways in which trees shape their experiences of place, exotic trees do not diminish their very real connections to land, the ways in which their identities are grounded in those territories, nor their desire for self-determination. In general, the participants all highlighted the importance of maintaining their Māori cultural and social values. These excerpts show, however, that people have a variety of different perspectives towards exotic forestry and how it is calculated into goals of cultural economic advancement. Thus, while they participate in the global forestry industry they continue to draw meaning from local experience.