Cultural Land Management Advisors

How a Council can partner with farmers to authentically improve mahinga kai

SESSION: Friday 11th March, 3:50pm - 4:30pm
Mananui Ramsden

Protection of mahinga kai is enshrined in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, under which Canterbury is divided into 10 catchment zones, each with its own challenges. Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is in the Selwyn Waihora zone. The lake has huge significance to Ngāi Tahu historically and as a place to gather food but today it is seriously polluted, with much of that blamed on farming. Under the Selwyn Te Waihora Water Plan, a Cultural Landscape Values Management Area has been established around the lake and farmers within this now have to include mahinga kai targets in their farm environment plans. Mahinga kai is a broad concept that includes species, natural habitats, materials traditionally used for harvesting food and places where food or resources are gathered

As part of this plan change, Environment Canterbury has developed the role of Pou Mātai Kō - cultural land management advisors. These council-employed individuals help ensure these new planning provisions do not create extra workload for mana whenua who would otherwise be inundated with landowners seeking guidance on how to adhere to these new mahinga kai-related targets. The role of the Pou Mātai Kō is to engage with landowners, farm managers, different industry groups, and other people who are affected by these provisions, so they can understand what mahinga kai is, and then what that means for them on-farm. Environment Canterbury is the first council in New Zealand to appoint cultural land management advisors who work in this way

Mananui Ramsden and his colleagues will discuss how the Pou Mātai Kō role came to be, how it functions in practice, and what they have learnt from working directly with farmers to protect mahinga kai values on-farm in Canterbury.

Presented By

Mananui Ramsden

Environment Canterbury