The concept of taonga in Māori culture: insights for accounting

Russell Craig, R. Taonui, S. Wild

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose – The indigenous Māori culture of New Zealand offers valuable insights for the development of ideas about the concept of asset. To highlight such insights, and to encourage a rethinking, this paper aims to explore the meaning of the closest Māori term to asset, taonga. Design/methodology/approach – The critical review the authors conduct fuses Western literature-based scholarship with an indigenous scholarly method that utilises oral information and the written literature of Māori scholars who have recognised traditional and scholarly credentials. Findings – Taonga includes a sacred regard for the whole of nature and a belief that resources are gifts from the gods and ancestors for which current generations of Māori are responsible stewards. Taonga emphasises guardianship over ownership, collective and co-operative rights over individualism, obligations towards future generations, and the need to manage resources sustainably. Originality/value – The insights offered by Māori culture are beneficial in addressing a range of vexing environmental and social issues in ways that embrace a broader set of principles than those based on individual property rights and economic values.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1025-1047
    Number of pages23
    JournalAccounting Auditing and Accountability Journal
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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