Maori community-based sustainable development: a research progress report

Some indigenous peoples are attempting to explore approaches to defining and implementing sustainable development in ways appropriate to them. In 1998, four Maori iwi (tribal) organisations embarked on a research project with a research team from the University of Waikato on planning for their own sustainable development. The aims of the research included enabling the groups to articulate their own values and understanding of development, establishing a comprehensive inventory of resources and taonga (treasures), identifying ways of assessing costs/benefits of investment options, and exploring participatory methods for involving the community in strategic decision-making. Useful lessons have been learned and models tested to assist community-based groups in implementing their own sustainable development.