RESISTANCE IS NEVER WASTED - Defending Māori Cultural Heritage with Radical Planning

Author: Doyle, Cassino Thane

Date: 2019

Publisher: University of Otago

Type: Thesis

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University of Otago


This thesis investigates the extent to which Māori (New Zealand’s indigenous people) are enabled to protect their cultural heritage within the existing heritage management regime. Current evidence suggests that there are deficits in the current heritage regime which results in the loss of Māori heritage. This research attempts to inform planning practice by evaluating the deficits within the regime. Further evaluation of conventional and radical approaches to Māori cultural heritage protection will also form part of the research. The theoretical framework that underpins the research is based on critical planning theory, participation theory, and cultural heritage theory. Evaluation of these theories is supported by empirical research in the form of a statutory analysis of heritage provisions and analysis of provisions that provide for Māori participation, and an analysis of two current case studies where Māori ancestral landscapes and heritage are under threat. Themes of power, empowerment and social learning permeate the core theories and consequently inform the analytical structure of the two case studies. The research finds that social transformation can result from adopting either a conventional or a radical participatory approach. However, transformative outcomes were found to be context specific, although realisable at different scales. Specifically, empowerment can be observed through the disruption of power imbalances in governance, inter cultural transfer of knowledge at community scale, or at an individual scale through a strengthening of cultural identity. However, despite transformative outcomes, neither the conventional nor radical participatory approaches were observed to definitively protect Māori cultural heritage. The research concludes by suggesting that iwi focus on building capacity in strategic areas, as well as adopt a programme to enhance protection of Māori heritage. Regulatory adjustments are recommended for the Crown whereas recommendations for local councils relate to cultural and technical capacity building initiatives. Further research needs are identified relating to the mapping of ancestral landscapes as a mechanism for protection of heritage. Also recommended is research to evaluate the extent to which the authorised heritage discourse constrains the use of the concept of cultural or ancestral landscapes.

Subjects: Māori cultural heritage, Māori participation, Cultural heritage protection, Cultural landscapes, Ancestral landscapes, Radical planning theory

Citation: ["Doyle, C. T. (2019). RESISTANCE IS NEVER WASTED - Defending Māori Cultural Heritage with Radical Planning (Thesis, Master of Planning). University of Otago. Retrieved from"]

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