Indigenous Māori culture is increasingly taking centre stage in conferences held in New Zealand, providing unique and innovative content, knowledge, and values. Māori are rapid risers in the wider New Zealand economy. They are frequent innovators of new and better technologies and methods – whether that be in commercial areas like fisheries, tourism or food; or in education and health, where they have developed their own models of delivery that are improving outcomes.
This was evident at the 2019 International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) Conference, which brought 1,185 attendees from 73 countries to Rotorua in April 2019. “Discussions with local Māori leaders inspired the theme, ‘Waiora: Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All’”, explains Sione Tu’itahi, Executive Director of The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand.
The potential of the Māori culture is echoed in the organisation of the upcoming 11th INTECOL International Wetlands conference, which will be held in Christchurch in 2020. It is expected to bring some 1,000 experts from around the world to discuss best practice in wetland research and management. The strength of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s Indigenous culture and the ability to incorporate the local Māori community into proceedings made 2019’s Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Conference a success. Held for the first time outside the United States, Canada and Hawai’i, the edition hosted at the University of Waikato in Hamilton attracted 1,872 registrations.