Dan Hikuroa

Senior Lecturer in Te Wānanga o Waipapa, University of Auckland

Dr Dan Hikuroa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui, Ngaati Whanaunga) is a Senior Lecturer in Te Wānanga o Waipapa, University of Auckland. He employs Earth Systems/Environmental Humanities approaches in his research and is an established world expert on weaving indigenous knowledge and science to realise the dreams and aspirations of the communities he works with. He is UNESCO NZ Commissioner for Culture, Acting Tumuaki of Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao (Statutory Māori Advisory to the Environmental Protection Authority), Co-Deputy Director Te Pūnaha Matatini, has other key roles within New Zealand’s National Centres of Research Excellence and National Science Challenges and advises national and regional government, communities and philanthropic trusts. Dan has been spearheading alternative ways of assessing sustainability, including weaving indigenous knowledge and epistemologies into legislation, assessment frameworks and decision-support tools. He reviewed the National Climate Change Risk Assessment Framework, and was a member of the Science and Mātauranga Advisory for the Ministry for the Environment Our Atmosphere and Climate 2020 Report.

Let the River Speak

Wed 11:40 am

Novel governance experiments in Aotearoa New Zealand are transforming public, government and scientific understandings of rivers as being. Initiatives driven by Māori have created spaces to allow our views of rivers and land to come to the fore, valuing them as holistic entities with lives and rights of their own. These build upon relational understandings of land, rivers and ocean as entities that are more ancient and powerful than people, viewing water, rivers and oceans as the lifeblood of society and the land. Within those relational ways of knowing and being, rivers and oceans can simultaneously be ancient kin, revered elders, and living entities. As Māori perspectives conceptualize humans as part of living systems within innate relationships between people and rivers, land, forests and seas they offer prospect to reframe the current structures of power, ownership, governance and management of rivers, waterways and wetlands.