International Institute for
Indigenous Resource Management


Mike Barns

Mike Barns is a Maori from Aotearoa. He served as Treaty Settlement Negotiator for Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau, as an Executive Member of Tribal Government (Te Runanga O Tuwharetoa Ki Kawerau), and as Secretary of Traditional Land Trusts (Kawerau A12 Land Trust). Mike earned his Masters in Architecture from the University of Hawai'i, with detailed studies in Architecture of Asia, the Pacific and the United States. He received the East West Centre Scholarship from the U.S. government and undertook international research and studies at the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He earned his B.Arch. from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Mr. Barns was a Senior Fellow at the Institute in 1998-2000. His work focused on sacred landscapes and cultural risk. These studies included the investigation of cultural perceptions of the landscape and the idea of particular tribal groups having differing ways of perceiving and responding to the environment. Often, traditional perceptions have become ritualized in ceremony and prayer, and at a political level in resource management systems and tribal government environmental education, management and harvest programs. Of particular interest are the relationships of indigenous peoples with national or federal governments, utility companies, oil, coal, gas and uranium developers and the positions of indigenous peoples in such relationships. The Sacred Landscapes Program seeks to locate native peoples at a level of influence and control over their traditional resources and over landscapes that affect their social, cultural and economic well-being.

Mr. Barns founded an environmental consulting firm in New Zealand providing services in international indigenous resource management. That work includes environmental planning, architecture and engineering, and project management for New Zealand government agencies, international companies, utilities, indigenous organizations, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Australia, the United States Agency for International Development, the Western Samoan Development Bank, the Government of the Cook Islands, the State Government of Hawaii, and others. Specifically, Mr. Barns has undertaken work in environmental risk management and other projects with indigenous peoples, including architectural design of tribal government buildings, medical, educational, elderly, and cultural facilities. He is Senior Lecturer at Auckland University School of Architecture. Mr. Barns has received awards for his work, including the A.A.A. Monier Tile Award for Architectural Excellence and a Special Citation for a cultural approach to housing in the National Housing Commission, Residential Design Competition, Te Atatu, New Zealand. He has delivered papers on Resource Management and Tribal Government in New Zealand and at the John F. Kennedy Graduate School of Government of Harvard University. He has also presented papers on the appropriateness of Cultural Space in Higher Education at the Conference on Indigenous Peoples in Higher Education at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

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Aroha Mead

Aroha is a Senior Lecturer in Maori Business. She is also a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre of Environmental Law at Macquarie University in Sydney, and she is the National Policy Director for Te Tau Ihu o Nga Whare Wananga, the umbrella body of the three Maori Universities (Awanuiarangi, Raukawa and Aotearoa).

Aroha co-chairs 'Call of the Earth Llamado de la Tierra', an international initiative in indigenous intellectual property policy hosted at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies in Yokohama, Japan and serves on the Governing Council of the IUCN World Conservation Union. Her research interests include:Maori and indigenous cultural and intellectual property issues; indigenous peoples and protected areas (land and marine); customary law and the role of tradition in management and conflict resolution; and international standards setting for indigenous rights and development

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