A feminist genealogy approach to governmentality is used to explore how indigenous knowledge and aspirations related to the environment become embedded into Aotearoa New Zealand environmental policy and practice. Particular consideration is given to the indigenous feminine as an impetus for change as expressed through atua wāhine/Māori female spiritual authority and powers. Political projects and activism by Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, provide the basis to explore contests between environmental truths that originate from Māori traditions and those that have come to dominate national environmental politics that originate from British “Western” traditions. It is argued that truth contests have been extremely effective at disrupting the power and authority of environmental policy and practice dominated by Western thought. Furthermore, efforts to maintain the momentum of these transformation and consolidate the authority and power of Māori communities is linked to rendering the indigenous feminine visible, retelling our herstories and developing new relationships and practices that give expression to atua.
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