Developing a strategy
Work out the aspirations for the whenua
Before you start developing a vision and a strategy, you need to define owners' aspirations and work out the potential the whenua holds.
Ki te kahore he whakakitenga ka ngaro te iwi
Without foresight or vision the people will be lost
– Kingi Tawhiao Potatau te Wherowhero
What are aspirations?
Aspirations are the dreams and ambitions that owners and whānau have for their future and for their whenua.
Aspirations are what fuel our growth and success. Defining our aspirations helps us know what we're aiming for and gives trustees confidence that they're driving the trust in the right direction.
We often express our dreams and aspirations for the whenua from multiple perspectives — usually one or more of these categories:
Aspiring to make money is usually part of wider aspirations, like supporting whānau or developing the whenua.
There might be aspirations to start a business or improve the current profitability of the whenua. Consider:
- What are the options for making money from the whenua?
- Has a particular industry or type of business been identified as an area of potential?
- Is there capability within whānau to develop this venture?
- What risks could affect the economic potential? What costs are there?
- What would you do with any profits? Would they be reinvested in the whenua, paid out to owners, invested other ways?
Sustainability and kaitiakitanga are natural motivators for Māori. We always have the long-term wellbeing of whenua and whānau at the centre of our thinking. This includes:
- he wai — our water and waterways
- he whenua — our land, soil or farms
- he hau — our air
- ngāi tipu — our flora.
Examples of environmental aspirations include:
- getting access to water or irrigation
- protecting waterways
- managing erosion.
- Are there potential environmental impacts of other work you want to do, like methane emissions or sewage?
- Are there any compliance obligations, like applying for resource consent?
Think about what role tikanga plays in your aspirations. We have a responsibility to our culture and our whānau to align anything we do with our values and our integrity. This could include:
- hauora — how could we increase the health and strength of our whānau?
- mātauranga — how do we increase knowledge for our whānau and community?
- whakapapa — how could the whenua reconnect whānau to each other?
- kaitiakitanga — how can our mahi preserve and strengthen the state of the whenua and whānau?
For example, could you:
- put controls around the way the whenua is used, like no tilling, or retiring parts of the whenua for regeneration, or using organic farming methods
- develop a training programme for whānau to help them develop the knowledge to be able to fully manage the whenua
- prioritise restorative work over financial gain.
This is the mahi that empowers and strengthens ties between whānau and our communities.
Is there potential to:
- regain access to the whenua for whānau, if it is landlocked
- build relationships through working on projects together
- fund social groups, for example a kapa haka group or waka ama team
- provide scholarships or grants to marae or kaumatua
- create jobs and an opportunity to come home
- develop capability for rangatahi or pakeke.
Finding the balance
Our role as kaitiaki requires that we find a balance so that any work we do does not impact the long term sustainability of our whenua.
This might mean taking a longer, slower approach to achieving our economic aspirations or goals to empower our whānau and communities.
When you're working out how to achieve different aspirations, consider what impacts any actions might have, and how to balance the aspirations to achieve the best outcome for all whānau.