Creating a world-leading indigenous blue economy

This research built a foundation for a world-leading indigenous blue economy in Aotearoa New Zealand

Project leaders

Dr Jason Mika, Massey University and Dr John Reid, University of Canterbury


February 2018 – June 2019





Māori businesses are on track to be the largest commercial interest in Aotearoa New Zealand fisheries. Māori also have growing customary property rights and governing authority in the management of marine areas. We explored regulatory and policy tools to embed mātauranga Māori in sustainable commercial and customary fishing activities.

In this project, we examined existing models and frameworks of mātauranga Māori used in the management of the marine ecosystem and economy. We analysed hapū and iwi approaches to integrated management and identified the structures and operating principles of Māori marine organisations.

Our research aimed to:

  • Identify policy and regulatory tools that foster marine ecosystem and economic management, and reflect Māori knowledge systems, values frameworks and operating principles
  • Develop kaitiaki business models that embed Māori commercial activity within sustainable ecosystem processes
  • Integrate kaitiaki business models with frameworks for the development of sustainability tracing and authentication systems that will capture premium for Māori marine products
  • Support the commercialisation, extension or adoption of Māori marine management ideas, processes, and products that support economic and ecological development for marine resources and communities.