Mā te kimi ka kite, Mā te kite ka mōhio, Mā te mōhio ka mārama.
Seek and discover, Discover and know, Know and become enlightened.
In the GNG programme, we are taking a Māori-first approach to engagement, recognising that Māori will be highly influential in the realisation of Aotearoa New Zealand’s supercritical geothermal projects. Given the long lead times, we have a chance to do things differently — in our stakeholder engagement, research design and interweaving of knowledge systems. We want our platform to better connect Te Ao Māori kite ao rangahau (the world of Māori to the world of research), to facilitate more culturally responsive and effective approaches for undertaking geothermal research and resource development.
As landowners, investors and kaitiaki (guardians), Māori will determine the use of supercritical geothermal resources, make the decisions and lead the way. The long-term nature of supercritical (and other large geothermal) projects requires a multi-generational approach to resource management. This aligns with Māori values and worldview — connecting whenua (land), people and natural environment.
Andy Blair recently gave a presentation at the New Zealand Geothermal Workshop, which shared our engagement approach, learnings so far, and how our thinking has evolved.
Strong, authentic engagement is key. We don’t always get it ‘right’, but we are here to learn, to ask questions and to be open about how our thinking is evolving. We are guided by a braided river model: where we meet, we connect and build trust, so when we go into places we don’t understand, we already have trust and connection.
Through targeted projects, partnerships and communication (including a Māori language version of our website), we hope to offer inspiration and encouragement for building relationships and inter-weaving western science and mātauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge). Traditional science excellence demands robust challenge and creative thinking. We are developing our science team to look at the world through a Te Ao Māori lens – knowing that will make our engagement, our team and our solutions better.