'Whakapuputia mai o mānuka' : a case study on indigenous knowledge and mitigating the threat of myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) : a research thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Horticultural Science, School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, University of New Zealand, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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This research centres on the recent myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) incursion in New Zealand to review the literature on the disease specifically and to create a localised case study with Ngāi Tāneroa hapū of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa. The case study focused on the importance of whakapapa, mātauranga Māori, tikanga Māori and the practices of kaitiaki to ethnobotany and the development of indigenous biosecurity measures (tools) to protect culturally important plant species within the Māori community The proverb stated in the title of this thesis whakapuputia mai o Mānuka, kia kore ai te whati – (cluster the branches of the Mānuka, so they will not break off) recognizes the status of plant knowledge in te Ao Māori. It provides a foundation of understanding how Māori can participate in resource management against biological threats, which are becoming increasingly common. The science around myrtle rust and the mitigation of any incursion threats is clearly aligned to western paradigms. The information presented in this thesis outlines an extensive understanding of the intricacies of the disease as understood by the science community. But this science alone has not been able to halt the spread or risk of myrtle rust into new geographical regions. Therefore, future management of the risk of myrtle rust incursions needs to look at alternative approaches for the development of suitable management tools. The holistic approach of traditional biodiversity management using mātauranga and tikanga Māori has much to offer to conservation of taonga resources, especially the mitigation of biological threats. The Māori worldview of the environment encompasses all elements beyond the physical attributes of an ecosystem that thrives through traditional kaitiaki inputs. The case study with Ngāi Tenaroa introduced several examples of how Māori can contribute to the mitigation of all threats on the ecosystem, not just fungal threats. Firstly, the role of whakapapa is explicit and cannot be ignored. This role consolidates the management tools across all generations at the very least. Secondly, the role of networks within Māori communities and inter-generational learning is also clear – and the risk that exists if this is lost is apparent. Lastly, examples of local knowledge such as the effect of hukahuka on plant health, companion trees and role of kaitiaki in decision-making have been identified and their importance conveyed from the hapū under study.
The following Figures have been removed for copyright reasons, but may be accessed via their respective sources: Figures 1 (=Berkes et al., 2000 Fig 1); 2 (=Houde, 2007 Fig 1); 5 (=Roberts et al., 1995 Fig 1); 6 (=Watkinson et al., 2015 p. 2); 7 (=Boddy, 2016 Fig 8.2); 8 (=McKenzie, 1998 Fig 1); 9 (=Aime et al., 2017 Fig 1); 11 (=Pegg et al., 2014 Fig 7); 12 (=Roux et al., 2016 Fig 2); 14 (=Pegg et al., 2014 Fig 9); 15 (=Pegg et al., Fig 8); & 18 (=Harmsworth & Awatere, 2013 Fig 1).
Myrtaceae, Diseases and pests, New Zealand, Fungal diseases of plants, Rust diseases, Prevention, Traditional ecological knowledge, Maori (New Zealand people), Ethnobotany, Social life and customs, Ngāti Kahungunu (New Zealand people), Carterton District, Mātauranga taupuhi kaiao, Te Wao nui a Tāne, Tahumaero, Tikanga, Whakapapa