A Critical Examination of the Relationship Between Cultural Heritage and Local Economic Development
te Hau, Hinurewa
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The role of cultural heritage is an integral component to the overall economic landscape of New Zealand. Integral to this lie a number of questions related to the social, cultural, economic and environmental well-being of indigenous heritage. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between ‘culture’ and ‘development’ through a critical analysis of provincial and regional communities engaged in local economic development. The case studies at the centre of this research are from Māori economic development practice in the Te Tai Tokerau Northland region, Aotearoa, New Zealand from 1996 to 2006. As a participant observer in economic development over the past two decades, the ‘practitioner’ has turned ‘researcher’ reflecting through an insider’s view of the projects, with the aim of understanding the dynamic relationship between cultural knowledge and local economic development, and how traditional knowledge can be commercialised for economic gain.