A very interesting thesis – with regards to science and matauranga maori

Trolling through the Auckland Public Library, I recently found a wonderful thesis which looks at the intersection between western science and Matauranga Maori in practice (specifically risk management and the interpretation of environmental hazards in NZ – and more specifically still key lahar events in NZ history). Read the abstract below for a better summary! There’s lots to recommend this thesis to anyone interested in teaching science in NZ, using science in NZ, etc.

When men and mountains meet;  Rūiamoko, western science and political ecology in Aotearoa/New Zealand / Laura Jardine-Coom http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/10092/3821/1/MenandMountains.pdf

although… perhaps go in via the original citation (http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/handle/10092/3821) so that you can check out the rights bit…

Abstract: On the 13th of March, 2007 a failure of the tephra dam at Te-wai-a-moe, the Crater Lake of Mt Ruapehu in the North Island of Aotearoa/New Zealand, caused a lahar to travel down the Whangaehu River channel. The lahar event had been predicted after an eruptive event at Mt Ruapehu eleven years before. As a result of the early prediction, the lahar event and potential risk was well studied, and twenty four management options were proposed to mitigate risk. After a period of consultation with stakeholders, including local iwi, the Minister for Conservation ratified a non-intervention option which emphasised monitoring and prohibited engineering intervention on the mountain. The media event associated with 2007 lahar event drew considerable attention to the 1953 Tangiwai tragedy which occurred following a similar lahar event at Mt Ruapehu. The 2007 lahar media event constructed Tangiwai as a site of risk that belonged to science, technology and Pakeha tragedy, dominating understandings of Tangiwai as an important spiritual place for local iwi and their relationship with Mt Ruapehu. The lahar event also highlighted the dominant western science based hazard management paradigm and its interactions with matauranga Maori. Inherent in the dominant western science paradigm is the natural/social split born of the scientific Enlightenment and the removal of non-humans as actors. Bruno Latour (2004) calls for a move beyond the natural/social dualism and recognition for the importance of non-humans in contesting and recreating worlds; this thesis considers Charles Royal’s tangata whenua paradigm as an answer to Latour’s call.
Publisher: University of Canterbury. Geography
Degree: Master of Science
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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in ecological literacy, Maori learners and education, Mono- Bi- and Multi-culturalism, Science education, social and political contexts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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