Economy of Mana: Where to Next?

Item type
Journal Article
Degree name
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga

Writings on traditional Māori economies have highlighted the value system that philosophically underpins them and the relational nature of trading interactions. Further, the significance of mana in sustaining economic relationships has been emphasised, leading to the concept of an “economy of mana”. In this paper, we explore traditional Māori economies, the concept of mana and the limited exploration of an economy of mana in order to propose future research directions for Māori economic research. Despite a wealth of literature focusing on the past, and emerging research investigating the modern Māori economy, we argue there is yet to be an articulate visioning of Māori economic futures built upon an economy of mana. It is our contention that enhancing our understanding of where we want to go will ultimately support the development of alternative economies that will better provide for Māori aspirations in cultural, social and economic realms. Building upon the literature, we offer a definition and operating principles for an economy of mana, and propose future research directions to build our understanding of an economy of mana with the intention of supporting Māori aspirations and well-being.

Economy of mana; Capitalism; Mana; Alternative economies
MAI Journal 2018: Volume 7 Issue 1, DOI: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2018.7.1.5
Rights statement
© 2020 MAI Journal. MAI Journal is an open access journal that publishes multidisciplinary peer-reviewed articles that critically analyse and address Indigenous and Pacific issues in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand.