'Future Visions For Te Taiao' film competition explores ideas on environmental protection

5:41 pm on 7 September 2021

A short film competition is inviting people to look at innovative ways for better environmental outcomes through a Treaty lens.

Image of landscape

Ideas and discussions shared in the films submitted to the 'Future Visions For Te Taiao' competition will go towards a wider research project. Photo: Supplied / Future Visions for Te Taiao

'Future Visions For Te Taiao' is asking people to imagine or envision the future of the environment.

The online film competition is reaching out to avid film makers across Aotearoa to have their say on environmental management and protection of the Taiao.

People of all ages, including rangatahi aged 11 and under, and from all communities, are encouraged to submit work exploring questions about kaitiakitanga, environmental protection, aspirations for the future of the Taiao or environment.

Ideas and discussions shared in the films submitted will go towards a wider research project called SO7: Adaptive Policy and Governance as part of Bioheritage National Science Challenge.

S07 will look at co-governance models for looking after the environment and role of Tangata Whenua as te tiriti partners.

Leading the project are associate professor Dr Maria Bargh and senior lecturer Dr Carwyn Jones from Te Herenga Waka- Victoria University of Wellington.

Bargh said the 'Future visions for Te Taiao' competition was a chance for people who may not usually feel inclined to look into governance and policy to share their perspective.

"The film competition is really to try and get some ideas from people who might be put off by the idea of governance or policy or might think they don't have anything to add to a discussion about how governance and policy should change"

Ellie Tapsell, one of the organisers of the competition, said the films are an important way to look at kaitiakitanga and its connection with Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

"We want people to be able to express their relationships with the environment and how they see kaitiakitanga and how they could see Te Tiriti o Waitangi helping us to manage our environment better"

Dr Bargh said the research topic came from seeing a continued decline in Aotearoa's biodiversity and it will explore how Te Tiriti partnerships with Tangata Whenua can help improve environmental outcomes.

"Our research area is looking at governance and policy and in simple terms- what governance and policy needs to change to better environmental outcomes.

"In our research team, we've got a hunch that actually co-governance and Te Tiriti led governance of natural resources are a better way of doing things."

Tapsell said artforms were an accessible way for people to share their thoughts and ideas.

She hoped the films would give people an opportunity to have their say on the environment and how it can be protected for the future.

"Storytelling and narrative are so important for knowledge creation and passing on of knowledge.

"It's also a great place to imagine and dream and express new thoughts and ideas."

Bargh said the short films can dive into all genres from science fiction to comedy and mystery.

She said sometimes the ideas that are the most outside of the box are the best ones for the environment.

"We're keen to hear, see and watch people's ideas and we're hoping people will really be as creative as possible"

"That's what we're looking for, innovation and creativity," she said.

Details for entrants can be found on the Future Visions For Te Taiao website or its Facebook page. Submissions close at 5pm on 17 October.