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Contemporary Research Division

16 January 2024

The Contemporary Research Division (CRD) works on socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability initiatives and projects for Ngāi Tahu Māori and the global indigenous community. We focus on applied outcomes through cultural matching and interdisciplinary analysis. Learn more.


The CRD brings together a multidisciplinary team with industry and academic experience across the agricultural, tourism and business development sectors and from the fields of anthropology, indigenous studies, resource management, institutional economics, philosophy and political science.

The central focus of the CRD is applying insights derived from the Māori worldview and the emergent operational principles to the key problematic nexus of contemporary life: the intersection of the economic with the environmental. While this is primarily directed at Māori socio-economic development and environmental sustainability the theoretical and practical frameworks, practices, processes and tools developed by the CRD have wider application. CRD work is not only helping Māori communities with cultural and financial autonomy, resilience and progress but is also asserting the importance of indigenous values, knowledge and praxis to the most crucial issues of the modern world. 


Current Projects

The CRD is working on a number of externally funded, cross-institutional projects.

Transforming economic policy in national budgets through indigenous knowledge

Funder: Partners for a New Economy

Project duration: 1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2024

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the Crown recognizes it has solemn duties as an honorable partner with Māori under the country’s founding document,Te Tiriti o Waitangi. In recent years, better recognition of the Crown’s duties has led to major reforms in justice, education and health.

This project applies lessons from such previous reforms in order to make New Zealand a global exemplar of using Indigenous knowledge in the annual national budget process to produce economic policies that promote ecological integrity and human wellbeing.

Read the issues paper here  --> The Crown's Budget Process - Issues Paper

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