We all benefit from restoring and protecting our land, waterways and native species. Aotearoa is home to precious and unique bioheritage: environments, taonga species and ecosystems.

Mana whenua, iwi and hapū hold deep knowledge of and relationships to these environments and are critical to effective environmental protection and decision making. Co-governance partnerships provide a way forward for tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti (Te Tiriti of Waitangi partners) to work together to build the health of our land, air and waterways.  

Despite evidence that supports co-governance with Māori, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, there are often misunderstandings and harmful narratives that surround co-governance and limit the visions we all have for environmental protection.

‘How to talk about co-governance of our bioheritage’ is a short guide for communicators and advocates of environmental management and policy.

The guide provides recommendations and tools on how to have effective conversations on the significance of mana whenua led environmental management. Including how to avoid unhelpful thinking and which values, visions and metaphors to embrace.

‘How to talk about co-governance of our bioheritage’ is an opportunity to deepen the understanding that decision makers and tangata tiriti have and build support for these partnerships and shared visions for the environment.

“Narrative change helps to shift deeply embedded mindsets that prevent the important changes we are all working toward in the area of co-governance and environmental management. By strengthening and amplifying mana enhancing narratives included in the guide, advocates can share their truth, hold decision-makers accountable and build public support for the changes that will make the biggest difference for people and te taiao.”

The Workshop, 2021

This short guide was commissioned by the Adaptive Policy and Governance Team (SO7) as part of the New Zealand Biological Heritage National Science Challenge and was led by The Workshop.

Find the short guide here.

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