Indigenous fisheries & customary rights in the modern era

Marae EntranceThis project explores a range of indigenous peoples’ tenure and management rights and systems, both in New Zealand and overseas, and the ways in which they have been incorporated into current management practices.  The research includes exploring the outcomes of the development of mechanisms for allocation of marine and freshwater resources and space between competing users.

A linked project is: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Customary Use and the Management of Fisheries’ Reserves: Exploring the links between traditional knowledge across Māori and German cultures.

Current specific project foci

Factors influencing the extent and nature of change in customary fisheries management and tenure in the Solomons Islands

Key researchers – Rose Tungale (MSc candidate), Dr  Hamish Rennie (Lincoln Uni), Dr Miranda Cahn (NZAID)

That recent rapid changes are evident in Pacific Island lifestyles is well-known. In Solomon Islands it has been suggested that political unrest may have played a significant part, particularly in the break down of traditional marine governance systems. However, the extent of change may be slower and the factors that influence those changes may be of a different nature in more remote islands.  This research adopts a lifestyle strategy model to explore the nature and causes of change in relation to customary marine tenure and management in fishing villages in a remote Solomon Island.

The global and local indigenisation of aquaculture and fisheries

Key researchers – Dr Hamish Rennie , Dr , Hirini Matunga, Jill Thomson (Eclectic Energy)

In countries where indigenous peoples are recognised as a minority (e.g., Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand) there is considerable policy development and legislative change giving expression to specific rights for ‘indigenous’ or ‘first’ peoples. There has been limited evaluation of the success or otherwise of these mechanisms.  This research adopts a comparative approach to address this gap. The current focus is on New Zealand Māori and the way in which the resource management and planning mechanisms to address Māori claims have led to greater indigenisation of aquaculture and power in governance of marine space (e.g., through taiapure).  We are interested in discussions with potential collaborators in other countries.


Page last updated on: 16/06/2011