The endorsed Decade Activity New Zealand Marine Sciences Society (NZMSS) Conference provided a valuable platform to promote Aotearoa New Zealand’s approach and commitment to the UN Ocean Decade.
The NZMSS Conference was attended by 243 delegates who collectively presented 121 oral presentations and 40 poster presentations. Attendees included representatives from iwi, New Zealand and international universities and research institutes, community conservation groups, regional councils, environmental consulting firms, and all government agencies with responsibilities in the marine domain.
Among the plenary presenters were NZ National Decade Committee Chair Linda Faulkner who gave the keynote address and members Dr Bill Fry who presented on Aotearoa New Zealand’s leadership in Tsunami research and James Tremlett, who outlined what ocean kinship means for Aotearoa New Zealand, discussing with the audience the question “Who is the Ocean?”.
Linda Faulkner’s keynote address highlighted the importance of combining science, Indigenous thinking and the Decade and reminded scientists of the benefits and opportunities to link their work with the Decade. She focused on Aotearoa New Zealand’s approach of ensuring Indigenous knowledge remains at the core of the work New Zealanders do in support of the Decade.
Aotearoa New Zealand’s approach to the Ocean Decade is unique as it draws from the knowledges, practices, values and world views of the Indigenous peoples of New Zealand and the Pacific.
Weaving knowledge systems together is common in New Zealand and has generated a distinctive approach to how New Zealanders undertake science and research and how they collaborate with one another.