Trustees of native land taken under the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company Enabling Act (1954) and used as an industrial waste dump-site for more than 30 years have been battling for decades for the opportunity and means to exercise decision-making authority (manawhenua) over their land and realize their role as guardians (kaitiaki). The Trustees are looking to “science” – the language of the courts, technical reports and resource consents – as the knowledge system to make informed decisions, but to date have not found appropriate or satisfactory methods. With the land due to be returned in 2013, the Trustees are determined to develop and execute a programme that will restore the life-force, the mauri, to their land – known as Te Kete Poutama. Ultimately, to find a solution the restoration plan must involve investigating and successfully navigating integration of science and indigenous Māori knowledge (mātauranga). Herein we propose the Mauri Model (Morgan, 2006) as an integration tool and evaluate its efficacy and utility. We suggest that the Mauri Model affords the opportunity for successful integration of matauranga with science to produce appropriate, meaningful and positive outcomes.

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