Effects of Industry on Maori Cultural Values: The Case of the Tarawera River

  • Materoa Dodd


The research is a case study of the relationship between three tribes; Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau and Ngāti Awa and the Tarawera River during the second half of the 20th century when the river was polluted with effluent from pulp and paper mills. It involves the cultural story of the Tarawera River as told by the iwi (tribes) of the river informed by Maori epistemologies and what has come to be known as a ‗kaupapa Maori research' approach. Reference is made to the history, legends, customs and lifestyle that have arisen from the relationship between iwi and the river. It includes comments on the pollution of the river from
members of each iwi. The world views, experiences, and perceptions reported on here have forced a fundamental change on the iwi, a change that has affected their cultural and social relationship to the river. The price of economic development on the river has been cultural and ecological genocide.

The cultural voice echoes a familiar story in indigenous communities. In the Maori context the research provides opportunities for further inquiry into determining the socio-cultural, economic and political future of the iwi of the river.


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How to Cite
Dodd, M. (1). Effects of Industry on Maori Cultural Values: The Case of the Tarawera River. WINHEC: International Journal of Indigenous Education Scholarship, (1), 53-63. Retrieved from https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/winhec/article/view/18630