Project Goal

The Goal of this research project is to investigate the insights that different knowledge systems (Māori, Local and Science) can contribute to (1) conservation ecology and (2) management decision-making regarding the population of White Pointers (Mango Taniwha, Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias) that inhabits coastal waters of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Project Objectives

In order to achieve the Project Goal, it will be necessary to achieve the following specific Objectives:

1. Identify and Engage expert knowledge holders from Māori, Local and Science knowledge systems, in semi-structured interviews designed to explore key aspects of White Pointer conservation ecology and management. The general interview format is based on a variety of relevant topics, including (where applicable): 

  • Experience in Aotearoa/NZ coastal environments

  • Exposure to Māori/local/science knowledge systems

  • White Pointer distribution and abundance

  • White Pointer encounters - direct experiences

  • White Pointer encounters - experiences of others

  • Effects of cage tour dive operation

2. Return draft interview transcripts to knowledge holders for review/approval and release to the public domain.

3. Create a website for dissemination of project information/updates, approved transcripts, and project reports.

4. Post approved interview transcripts to the project website: 10 sets of 5-6 interviews per set in sequence for the five study regions: (a) Otago, (b) Catlins, (c) Fiordland, (d) Foveaux Strait, (e) Rakiura/Stewart Island and (f) Cage Tour Dive Operations.

5. Prepare a comprehensive review of available hypotheses/evidence generated by the Science knowledge system regarding ecology and behaviour of White Pointers inhabiting coastal waters of Aotearoa/New Zealand, with reference to the body of knowledge assembled in this research project.

6. Provide the People of Aotearoa/New Zealand with an independent review of the management conflict regarding effects of the White Pointer cage tour dive operations, based on the combined body of knowledge assembled and reviewed in this research project.