The researchers and iwi partners bring a broad range of perspectives, skills and expertise to this kaupapa. Te ao Māori and whakairo frame the kaupapa and stimulate a kōrero about the science, philosophy and policy of New Zealand’s Antarctic and Southern Ocean activities.
Tohunga whakairo, teacher and mentor, Te Warihi Hetaraka is known in Te Tai Tokerau and beyond as an authority on whakairo/toi Maori. He was chosen by kaumatua as a 15-year-old to represent the tribes of Tai Tokerau in the first intake of the trainees of the NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute and has since worked continuously to preserve and disseminate mātauranga Maori. Matua Te Warihi is kaumatua for the research project and guides our approach to both the research and how to engage with hapū and iwi.
Nigel is the primary advisor for Te Ao Turoa, the environmental unit of the Ngāi Tahu Tribal Council. Nigel’s core function forTe Ao Turoa is to protect and enhance the customary fishing rights of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. He helps build the capacity of Ngāi Tahu to implement the customary non-commercial provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992, with particular emphasis on the identification and protection of areas of importance for customary fishing through the establishment and ongoing management of tools like Mātaitai and Taiāpure. Nigel believes that the development of community-based tools to conduct baseline surveys of fisheries resources and to assess harvesting levels will greatly assist each reserve’s customary managers to better manage their areas, which in turn should lead to better environmental outcomes.
James is Ngāi Tahu and a member of the local Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka and lives on Colac Foreshore Road in Southland where he witnesses daily the rising sea levels and increasing king tides as the global climate changes. “I was brought up around here and lived here on and off all my life. All this time in the natural world makes it easy to see the changes that are happening in our environment,” James says. He says “… that’s what we want to question and talk about with our whakairo. It’s a wero (challenge) really – what are we actually doing about this problem of climate change?” James has been part of the team from the start and his whakairo (along with Poutama’s) sets a very Māori kaupapa for the research project.
Poutama Hetaraka says he is not only looking forward to experiencing a completely different environment but also to seeing mātauranga Māori become more and more embedded in conversations about environmental management of the Earth and Antarctica in particular”.
Cilla explores the relationship between conservation biology and mātauranga from her lived experience in extended whānau communities of Waikato, Ngāpuhi nui tonu and Tūhoe while also drawing on her roots as a New Zealand woman with Scottish clan origins and as a mother of three children. Her research focusses on human-nature relationships, including past, present and future Indigenous environmental management, introduced species that challenge native ecosystems, and insect ecology and behaviour. From Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Cilla provides leadership of the project and brings a strategic approach to building and collectivising the research team across world views and cultures and research disciplines.
Krushil grew up in South Auckland and developed a keen interest in philosophy later in her teens. Through her PhD and various postdoc positions around the world, she is now an Associate Professor at Massey University Department of Philosophy, specialising in moral and political philosophies of well-being, development, and justice with a particular focus on indigenous philosophies. Amongst all of her research she works closely with Māori communities, particularly her own hapū and iwi, to support the revitalisation and sustaining of mātauranga Māori. Krushil brings a uniquely philosophical way of thinking to the kaupapa that challenges the preconceived notions of humanity’s connection to and relationship with Antarctica.
Billy was born and raised on Jagera and Turrbul Country in South East Queensland, Australia and his love of animals and nature led him into academia and to complete a PhD in Evolutionary Ecology in 2012. Since then Billy jumped ship from science to work with Anindilyakwa and Nunga mob in environmental and water policy work and developed an interest in how to build equitable partnerships that allow Indigenous peoples, their voices and knowledges to shape environmental science, policy and governance for a more reciprocal and sustainable relationship with papatūānuku. Billy has now returned to research joining the team in 2019 as a postdoctoral research fellow and now Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.
Bella grew up in Alaska among her Koyukon Athabascan family and says that “a passion and interest in the environment around me has always been inherent to my life”. Her upbringing led her to study environmental science at Stanford University (California, USA), where she is now a fourth year undergraduate student with a developing interest in “creating a healthier and more mutually beneficial relationship between Indigenous communities and the western scientific community”. Bella joined us this year as an intern through Stanford University and bings a uniquely Northern hemisphere perspective to the team.