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What is the degree of mātauranga Māori expressed through measures of ethnicity?

Shaun Awatere


This research hypothesized that respondents who have a good understanding of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) are those with a secure cultural identity and are more likely to be concerned with the environment. A quantitative survey was carried out using two separate samples drawn from the Māori population; one from the general Māori population (N=331) in the city of Auckland and the other from a sub- tribe (N=61) whose traditional land has been encompassed by Auckland City. The responses from the survey presented a consistent environmental concern attitude across both samples and challenge a priori assumptions. The meaningfulness of a Māori cultural identity (MCI) measure to represent mātauranga Māori perspectives of the environment is discussed. The conclusion from the findings is that cultural identity is much more complex than an ordinal number and that caution should be used when employing the MCI measure.

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