Me Tū ā-Uru – United in right relationships to each other and the environment

~ Maria Bargh, Carwyn Jones & Ellie Tapsell

10:30-11:30am, Tues 29.08.23

Me Tū ā-Uru is an action plan for environmental governance and decision making that calls for shared authority of Aotearoa’s special places to ensure a flourishing environment for future generations. Three members of the Me Tū ā-Uru working group Professor Maria Bargh ( Te Arawa and Ngāti Awa) , Professor Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu) and Ellie Tapsell (Te Arawa and Tainui) spoke to their action plan and the challenges and opportunities it presents for reaching healthier long-term human and environmental relationships.

Me Tū ā-Uru was written by a working group of Māori researchers and practitioners co-led by Maria Bargh and Carwyn Jones, as part of New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.

About the speakers

Maria Bargh is Professor of Politics and Māori Studies. She completed her PhD in Political Science and International Relations at the Australian National University.  Her research interests focus on Māori politics, and Māori resource management economy including renewable energy, freshwater, mining and biodiversity.

Dr Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington. He holds a PhD from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. His primary research interests relate to the Treaty of Waitangi and indigenous legal traditions. He has also held roles at the Waitangi Tribunal, Māori Land Court, and Office of Treaty Settlements.

Ellie Tapsell is currently a Research Fellow at Te Kawa a Māui, Victoria University of Wellington, where she completed her Master of Arts in Maori Studies.

The working group for this action plan comprises Maria Bargh, Carwyn Jones, Erin Matariki Carr, Carly O’Connor, Tasman Gillies, Oliver McMillan, and Ellen Tapsell. It was established to consider ways in which governance and policy need to change to better protect te taiao.

The action plan lays out past harms to the environment, celebrates those that are already leading more sustainable and caring environmental projects, and provides guidance for personal and collective action to continue the critical work of protecting our environment into the future.

“Me Tū ā-Uru is guided by a vision of a flourishing and abundant environment that sustains and nurtures all people of Aotearoa, where we work together to care for and enjoy our special places and communities in ways that benefit all of us,’ ~  Dr Carwyn Jones, co-leader of the research group.

The action plan provides direction for government, tangata whenua, and tangata Tiriti on how to achieve strong relationships with each other and the environment that will help Aotearoa survive and thrive. It includes suggestions for reworking relationships between government and local authories and hapū and iwi, and acknowledgement of the experience and rights of mana whenua in environmental management. It also encourages tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti to learn more about existing relationships between people and the land, and how those relationships can work better to protect Aotearoa’s natural world.

To find out more visit: About – Me Tū ā-Uru (

Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

100 Cuba Street, Wellington
New Zealand

E: W: