As a person who had a long business career in the property development industry, starting out in 1982, I have been an interested spectator in the acknowledgement of Kaitiakitanga as a legitimate component of the statutory laws contained in the Resource Management Act.
At the beginning of my career, it was paid scant regard and I probably need to own up as one who felt it was just another layer of bureaucracy in an already crowded legal process. I have grown up a bit since then and I now clearly see the purpose of Kaitiakitanga.
Kaitiaki is a Maori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land. A kaitiaki is a guardian, and the process and practices of protecting and looking after the environment are referred to as kaitiakitanga.
The concept and terminology have been increasingly brought into public policy- in particular with the environmental and resource controls under the Resource Management Act. The Act is now a more blended one; just as in other issues of a multi-cultural society, we have to learn, listen and get on with producing a harmonious outcome for the environment whilst pursuing good economic growth options that produce the opportunity to enjoy the decent standards of living New Zealanders expect.
As a young bloke, I worked on farms around New Zealand. I never worked for a farmer who did not care about the land. Some of the harm caused, for example with chemicals, was simply a lack of knowledge, particularly as producers covered up potential harmful causes. Things are much better now. There is more transparency. It is not perfect but this work is a celebration of the journey so far.
About the Artist- Mike Glover.
Born and raised in Canterbury, Mike resides near the Selwyn River and Lake Ellesmere. He has as a strong connection to the rivers, lakes and mountains in the area and is invested in all things that protect the quality and natural beauty of his landscape.
Most of his work is now in pastel - he likes that he has to use his fingers to blend the colours, like finger painting, and that he is essentially building a picture from coloured dust. For him, there is something elemental about that.
“Looking down on a river winding through the hills or a spectacular sunset - is food for the soul. There is a sense of awe, peace and harmony with nature - these are the feelings that I am trying to convey in my artwork”.