Walking backwards into the future: Maori views on genetically modified organisms

  • Roma Mere Roberts, Dr. Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, Whakatane, Aotearoa New Zealand


This paper presents the results of research conducted among Maori people in New Zealand concerning their views on genetically modified organisms (GMO's). Participants invoked a number of traditional principles, values and beliefs that were used to assess and evaluate the risks and benefits posed by GMO's to Maori culture. Suggestions for a decision-making framework incorporating these principles and capable of being used by both Maori and scientists to assess intended GMO research applications are also included. If successful, this framework and process may help avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse cultural effects and just as importantly, maximize any potential benefits of the research for Maori or other indigenous peoples.