This research theme translates Māori expressions of mauri (life force) for assessing ecosystem health including peoples’ values. The word mauri is a combination of mā and uri, meaning pureness passed down from the gods. Each living thing has a mauri that relates to, and interacts with, the Earth’s forces. Underpinning the Māori economy and their investment in managed primary production is the recognition and prioritisation of oneone (soil) health to sustain whenua (land) and taonga (cultural treasures).
Māori define soil health holistically, stressing interconnections and strong links to sustaining life, food production and human well-being. Māori conceptual models and definitions tend to locate Māori at the centre of ecosystems and regard a healthy soil as one “capable of supporting, maintaining, and enhancing life and well-being”. This provides the foundation for the development of Māori soil indicators that guide the management of soil health.
As such, we aim to develop multi-scale networks of disease incidence and impact. It will also help us understand above- and below-ground drivers of health in the face of pathogens, pests and climate change.