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Abstract

Based on the premise that communication is critical to effective governance, this research examines the communication mechanisms used within Maori organisations. It is part of an objective funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to "Define the important elements in building a governance structure to achieve alignment with the goals of owners on multiply-owned (Maori) lands". It contributes to both government and Maori agendas to accelerate Maori economic development while acknowledging the challenge in reconciling economic imperatives to increase profit with Maori cultural obligations to uphold spiritual and cultural (kaitiaki) obligations. Previous studies undertaken by AgResearch with groups other than the "traditional farmer" highlighted the need for approaches and methods that embrace a culturally conducive, participatory, and mutually beneficial research relationship. In keeping with an essentially qualitative research approach, five case study groups were identified and nineteen people took part in in-depth, face-to-face interviews. This study highlights a range of communication mechanisms used by Maori organisations.

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