Adaptation Planning | Marae
Most of our marae are built along the coast or by flood-prone rivers. Climate change – like other historical upheaval – threatens to separate some of us from our papakāinga.
Planning early will help whānau, hapū and marae communities deal with the impacts of climate change.
Your plans need to consider how climate change will affect your marae infrastructure, wāhi tapu, whenua and wai māori. Adaptation planning reduces risks to your taonga, and can help you uncover new social and economic opportunities.
Ahikā must be involved with and in control of climate decisions. This will create better solutions for future generations and the living world.
Protect your whakapapa! The mātauranga, information and tools here and across this website can help you and your whānau:
- understand past and present change
- agree on what you can and can't risk
- make great decisions about the future.
Tikanga empowers us to act and keeps us safe. It is vital if we are to adapt to climate change successfully.
Decisions about whether to protect wāhi tapu, shift wharenui, or retreat from papakāinga are deeply challenging.
Adaptation decisions need grounding in te reo and tikanga Māori, kōrero tuku iho, pūrakau, waiata and toi Māori. Tikanga must sit alongside reliable climate information and a legal framework that honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Together these resources can uncover new and much older mātauranga around change. Tikanga can help you and your whānau approach difficult decisions about:
- “using” your resources differently – which can be challenging when what you currently do brings an income or source of kai to the community
- coming up with creative ways to maintain connections with whenua and takutaimoana under threat from climate change
- devising solutions that work with nature rather than trying to control it, and that support kaitiakitanga and rangatiratanga.
Building consensus is natural and normal for Māori. Climate change means we need to consider big decisions now, even though the future is uncertain.
Decisions that have the buy-in of all community members are far more likely to stand the test of time. Adaptation planning requires trade-offs between short-term goals with clear outcomes and long-term goals that will benefit our mokopuna and the natural world.
Decision-making models grounded in values and culture are most effective, because they bring community members with different positions together.
In some rohe, hapū and iwi lead the nation in adaptation planning and have climate strategies looking out 1,000 years. Māori are using cutting-edge decision tools, Iwi Management Plans and other kinds of partnerships to collaborate with researchers and councils on managing climate risks.
These resources can help your whānau consider how you want to make decisions, as well as what kinds of information you need to begin.
Climate change poses a great risk to wāhi tapu, taonga Māori and whakapapa Māori.
Most of Aotearoa’s marae and papakāinga are along the coast. “Managed retreat” – where whānau evacuate hazardous areas and start again on safer ground – doesn't sit well with people whose relationships stretch backwards and forwards over generations.
Wāhi tapu are at risk. Some whānau are already making decisions to shift urupā and repatriate tūpapaku. Other hapū are attempting to protect their wāhi tapu for as long as possible by building retaining walls or planting out riverbanks.
These solutions aren’t likely to be long-term. Some whānau may need to think seriously about relocating marae assets. How do we make these decisions, while still upholding mana whenua, Māori values and traditional knowledge?
No one is suggesting this will be easy. The sooner communities begin talking about these issues, the more likely it is you will find solutions that uphold mana motuhake.
Hapū and iwi Māori, as well as local and central government, need clear direction on how climate decisions interact with Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Adaptation decisions impact taonga Māori, including “assets” like marae infrastructure, whenua and fishing grounds. Under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, hapū have the right to protect these taonga.
If hapū have to retreat from coastal papakāinga or other ancestral lands, the Crown will need to consider how to support hapū to maintain relationships with traditional territories.
In climate adaptation, many – if not most – important decisions are made by local and regional councils. Our research suggests central and local government should keep their wider Te Tiriti obligations in mind, rather than the minimum conditions set out in legislation and policy. This will help avoid modern Te Tiriti breaches.
Good adaptation planning should integrate Waitangi Tribunal and other case law findings, to ensure plans are fit for purpose and have the buy-in of current and future generations.
Tamariki, taiohi and rangatahi are better than many adults at “getting” the climate crisis and devising creative solutions. Young people will also face the worst impacts and have to make the adaptation decisions we haven’t yet been able to make.
Young people have to be involved in adaptation decisions. We need to make sure our rangatahi have the skills and mātauranga of their kaumātua, so they can navigate change with cool heads and compassionate hearts.
Some researchers have worked with kapa haka teams to explore pūrakau Māori and explain climate processes in accurate, holistic ways. Others have brought climate information to life through art and design, helping translate our complex and uncertain future in more interesting ways and styles.
Many local projects involve young people working in planting or conservation projects or at māhinga kai. These projects help create practical links between local and global issues, and build community resilience as well.
These resources show different ways to support your tamariki and mokopuna to become adaptation leaders in your community.