Ethical plant access – experiences in New Zealand

K. Funnell, W.T. Blissett
Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand (NZ). In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was established between Māori and the Crown, thereby guaranteeing Māori undisturbed possession of taonga (treasured) species. There were many breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, which resulted in the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal to rectify those past breaches, and the resulting Settlements with Iwi (the tribal sovereign nations of Māori). One such report, WAI 262, known as the flora and fauna claim, asserts Māori sovereignty over taonga species: those endemic to NZ and of significance to Māori in both traditional and contemporary contexts. The WAI 262 report, alongside internaิ้tional agreements such as the Nagoya Protocol, create a moral and ethical context for authentic partnerships and benefit sharing between indigenous people and industry/science, including breeding and use of taonga plant species. This paper will be co-presented from both an indigenous and a science perspective, providing examples of how indigenous-science partnerships can create innovative opportunities for the international ornamentals industry, within the moral and ethical frameworks of international policies and commitments, when based on best practice principles. The examples include projects spanning several genera (e.g., Leptospermum, Gentianella, Syzygium, and Corynocarpus), illustrating increasing success for authentic partnerships between Māori and industry/science, including governance of data, benefit-sharing agreements, informed consent, and facilitated access.
Funnell, K. and Blissett, W.T. (2023). Ethical plant access – experiences in New Zealand. Acta Hortic. 1383, 11-20
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1383.2
indigenous rights, breeding, plant genetic resources, governance of data, benefit sharing, informed consent

Acta Horticulturae