Primary Sector Council merges science with the metaphysical in vision to guide the food and fibre sector

The Primary Sector Council’s vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector (you can check it out here) promotes the government’s programme for blending science with the Maori belief system.

In a press statement, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor welcomed the “vision to unite the primary sector”, although he did not mention advice to unite science with matauranga Maori.

But on the vision website we learned:

By bringing together Mātauranga Māori, community based knowledge and modern science, we will form a body of knowledge that can guide and elevate our practices everyday, empowering us to elevate ourselves above compliance.

The vision describes “an active approach” and brings the metaphysical concept of “mauri” into considerations –

Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) is an active practice. Good Kaitiakitanga will involve taking action where things are out of balance and other parts of the system are being affected by resource use. Te Mauri o te Taiao provides a framework for everyone to effectively assess the mauri of all the elements within Taiao. We will look to develop assessment and monitoring tools to assist with implementing Te Mauri o te Taiao successfully. Continue reading “Primary Sector Council merges science with the metaphysical in vision to guide the food and fibre sector”

How the supernatural is being merged with science for Kiwi students

Defending a column he wrote for Stuff earlier this year, scientist and cartoonist Bob Brockie claimed there is no place for the Treaty of Waitangi in scientific endeavour. When several academic big-wigs challenged and chided him, he wrote in a subsequent column he was unrepentant.

The treaty is a political document and politics has no place in science which transcends nation, race, culture, and political perspectives”.

Moreover, Brockie challenged the merging of the humanities with science.  In the humanities, he contended, ambiguity is okay.

“There are few rules or laws – everybody can make up their own rules and laws. In science, ambiguity and the supernatural are anathema… As I see it, science and the humanities are parallel universes, each with different assumptions, motives, values, methods, standards and expectations. Very little traffic passes between these ideologies. What does travel is almost exclusively from science to the arts.”

Many science students nowadays nevertheless are being instructed in Matauranga Māori , or Māori knowledge, and the cultural and spiritual belief system in which it is grounded.   Continue reading “How the supernatural is being merged with science for Kiwi students”