Author: Alex

Ko te kawa o te ora

Kai-karanga: Erina Henare-Aperahama
Kai-karakia: Ruia Aperahama


E Rangi e Papa whakarongo mai koia ki tēnei karanga o te wā nei eeeeeeiii
Tūrou Hawaiki ki te kaupapa o te wā nei eeeee
Mate i te mate i te pā hana hana o wai ori ake nei eeeeei
Nau mai oro mai ki tēnei marae tapu o te aotūroa nei eeeei

Sky father, earth mother, please listen to the call of our time
May the power and virtue of Hawaiki be upon us all
From death to death, a swaying wave of life
Come, resonate here in this sacred courtyard of all life

Karakia, Tauparapara

Ko te kawa o te ora, ko te kawa o te ora,
Ko te kawa o te ora, tēnei ka tākina,
Ko te kawa o te ora, tēnei ka hikina
Eeei Tapu Tapu mai koia ko Rangi e tū nei
Tapu Tapu mai koia ko Papa e takoto nei
Tapu tapu mai koia ko tēnei mana
Mana mai, mana atu
Mauri mai, mauri atu
Tapu mai, tapu atu
Tiaki mai, tiaki atu
Haumie e hui e tāiki e!

The cycle of life, the cycle of life
the cycle of life recited
the cycle of life lifted up
Sacred indeed is Sky father
Sacred indeed is Earth mother
Sacred indeed is this power
This power outward, inward
This outward essence, this inward essence
This sacredness inward, outward
This protection inward, outward
Alliance, consensus
Together one and all

This karanga and tauparapara were composed in late 2020 for the Deep South Challenge by Matua Ruia Aperahama, member of our Kāhui Māori, and an extraordinary musician and educator.

This story takes you through the values and the narrative that underpins our website. It emerges from workshops with our Kāhui Māori and other kaupapa Māori researchers.


A whakataukī to guide our storytelling

Image of sea hill and sky with the text of our whakatauki over the top: 
Mana mai Mana atu
Mauri mai Mauri atu
Tapu mai Tapu atu
Tiaki mai Tiaki atu

Emerging out of the kōrero of the Kāhui Māori, Ruia Aperahama proposed this whakataukī as a galvinising force for our storytelling.

Reciprocity underpins and surrounds this whakataukī. In order to change with our changing climate, we need to recognise and integrate reciprocity into all aspects of our work.

Rather than recalling the pūrakau of particular hapū or iwi, it’s open and general enough to allow a way in for many audiences.

Whaea Sandy Morrison, our Vision Mātauranga programme lead, also noted the reciprocity embedded in Pacific cultures (for example, through tributes and blessings), recalling Aotearoa’s obligations to Pacific nations under threat from climate change, and drawing a geographical link in our research from the Pacific region to the Southern Ocean: across time, space and scientific disciplines.

This reciprocity can nurture – grow – our sense of authority and agency to make decisions. It cultivates vibrancy, enhancing our health and well-being. It generates a reverence for each other and the natural world, and provides us with a strong understanding of the cultural and physical limitations we must work within.

This reciprocity can also activate an ethic of energetic care, for each other and our environment. Rather than allowing panic or fear to lead us, we can move forward with agency and hope.

How did we interpret this whakataukī in visual design?

We wanted to find a way for our non-Māori audiences to experience a shift in perspective. This shift might be in an understanding of physical or social hierarchy; to a sense of time or place; or in the way we perceive the nature of “authority”.

Equally, we intended that our website would enable our Māori audiences to feel a sense of recognition for their everyday realities.

We want our online presence to reflect (as well as we can), indigenous ways of being and relating, to each other and to our natural world.

We contacted the talented crew at Āriki Creative and asked them to create some kōwhaiwhai based on this whakataukī and the themes we developed (below).

We hope our website is inclusive of all audiences. We hope to provide some ways to activate our collective agency. We all need to seek the hope, mana and confidence to start making decisions.


  1. Ahikāroa | place, belonging, connection
  2. Mana | agency, authority, working with our strengths
  3. Taputanga and Atuatanga | reverence, protocols, limitations
  4. Kaitiakitanga | rangatiratanga, ki mua ki muri, intergenerational responsibility
  5. Ātea | navigating, journeying, from the Pacific to the Southern Ocean
Ahikāroa | place, belonging, maintaining connection

We acknowledge the primacy of place and of belonging in all climate adaptation work.

We recognise mana whenua, at the same time as being careful not to homogenise hapū or iwi Māori. Our narrative acknowledges the multiple claims of mana whenua, as well as multiple knowledges, rather than suggesting that any single source of knowledge or power will deliver robust solutions.

Climate change – like other historical upheaval – is likely to separate at least some of us from our homes and whenua. Decision making is especially traumatic when we risk being separated from places where we hold ahikāroa. Adaptation solutions must strengthen the decision-making powers of local people, particularly ahikā.

Ahikā are already observing local environmental changes – to water sources, environmental indicators in flora and fauna, and to patterns in weather and climate.

If we all learn how climate change may impact our local food sources, fishing grounds, rivers and forests, habitable land and recreation spaces, we can find robust local solutions.

If we spend time understanding the values that drive our decisions, we are also more likely to find collaborative, robust adaptation solutions and opportunities.

Mana | agency, authority, working with our strengths

Our research speaks directly to decision makers. We are all decision makers, regardless of how small or large our sphere of influence.

We respond to and support decision makers – on marae, in the community, around boardroom tables, and in local and central government – to work out what we can do now, and to start to do it. Our research supports decision makers to understand a wide range of climate risks and to plan to deal with those risks, over the short and long terms.

There is an urgency to act. But to overcome the real barrier of despair in the face of massive uncertainty, we meet our audiences with positive, action-focussed and even light-hearted language.

Te mauri, te mana, te ihi, te wehi. These are both precious and volatile.

In order to embrace their own agency and to collaborate, decision makers need to feel seen, heard, respected and honoured. Te mauri, te mana, te ihi, te wehi. These are both precious and volatile.

We communicate hope and activate agency by providing ‘glimpses’ of success – examples where others have faced near-impossible climate-related challenges and found a way through.

We provide clear signposts for users to find their own pathways towards their own solutions. We are clear about who is responsible for particular adaptation barriers.

We have hope and believe we are all capable of change. Our kaumatua and our ancestors survived great change. ‘The thing is not to panic’.

Tapu, atuatanga | reverence, protocols, limitations

Climate change will likely disrupt wāhi tapu, taonga Māori and whakapapa Māori. We acknowledge the immensity of the hara, the wrong that will be caused to tangata whenua if we choose not to act.

Whatever names we know them by, atua are speaking to all of us. They speak through the rain, the sun, the tides, the clouds and the wind. Immense change is upon us, even if the rate of change is uncertain.

We acknowledge that Western science – especially climate science – must connect with a sense of reverence for the natural world. Both wairuatanga and whakapapa help us understand how the human and non-human worlds are related. If we feel pain when damage is done to the natural world, we will be more likely to respond. Rather than setting out to dominate or control nature, our research supports solutions that work with nature.

The sky is filled with grief. Over the southern horizon, the ocean is losing patience. It can only absorb so much poison. It melts and swells, and sends us small and large messages. Native species flower earlier. Fish migrate further south. Shellfish don’t grow as large or as strong. Frost arrives late or not at all. Atua make themselves known in the form of giant storms and massive tides. We know the damage we have caused. We know our ancestors are changing. We know we have to figure out how to change with them.

Ruia for example referenced Te Tai o Ruatapu and Parawhenuamea, as controllers of or personifications of destructive tides, tsunamis, floods. We hold these stories and others close, even as we’re careful not to overstep hapū control of their own pūrakau.

Kia mau te taura o tēnei o ō tātau waka, koi motu ka haria e Parawhenua mea ki runga ki te tūāhu o tāna tama (TJ 10/5/1898:7). / Hold on to the rope of our canoe lest it is severed and taken by Tsunami onto the sacred place of rituals of her son.

Ruatapu, son of Uenuku, convinced the gods of the tides to destroy the land and its inhabitants.

We recognise the importance of protocol in supporting successful adaptation. Protocols help guide our behaviour, and tell us what is permitted and what is restricted. By following protocol, we strengthen our relationship with and respect for our ancestors, and understand the challenges they faced and how they navigated change. We seek consensus and we prepare properly, which empowers us to act and keeps us safe.

Kaitiakitanga | rangatiratanga, ki mua ki muri, intergenerational responsibility

Climate adaptation is an intergenerational issue. The cause of climate change begins long ago, with industrialisation, colonialism and imperialism. If we don’t begin to change, those who will suffer most from climate change will be our mokopuna, and their mokopuna. We hold their lives in our hands.

We need to look in all directions, ki mua ki muri, ki runga ki raro, ki waho ki roto, to understand our guardianship responsibilities. We must also consider that guardianship without rangatiratanga – decision-making power – is an empty concept.

Our communities must be involved in making decisions about their own well-being, and about the well-being of our environment. Decision-making at all levels of society – especially and including in research – must be transparent and accountable to the communities it is supposed to serve.

Ātea | navigating, journeying, from the Pacific to the Southern Ocean

Sandy Morrison’s research, which begins at the beginning, in the wide open ātea of the Southern Ocean, opens with this karakia:

Te ao o te tonga, e whariki mai ra e
Nā runga I ngā hiwi
Ngā Pari-huka e, te ika-tawira,
Ka whakapou nei ōu, i.

The atmosphere of the south, stretching out wide
Above the mountain ranges
Beyond icy cliffs, where ancient fish flourish
And wonders, to which I humbly bow.

While no single iwi claims mana whenua over Antarctica, Polynesians were the first to navigate the Southern Ocean. We look to the Pou Whakairo of James York Robinson, opened by our board member Tā Mark Solomon in Antarctica, to understand the origins and purposes of ocean voyaging and ocean navigation.

Sometimes, change is necessary. Always, change requires great courage and even greater teamwork. Change can be exciting, adventurous and create new opportunities.

We are not afraid of change, because in the past, change has led us to new beginnings. Our ancestors have journeyed towards new knowledges and sources of culture, as well as in search of shelter and new sources of food.

The Polynesian navigator Hui te Rangiora travelled (some say as a giant reptile) to the Southern Ocean (resting half-way at the mouth of the Riuwaka River in Motueka).

Children perform haka like Pītotori to remember and honour him. Sandy tells, “This haka is well known to Tainui… It is synonymous with waka, navigation and seafaring. Its author is unknown as is the time in which it was recorded. It tells the story of a supernatural being called Hui Te Rangiora with a needle-like structure on its back which pierced the sky. When asleep, this taniwha resembles the silhouette of mountain ranges.”

Ocean navigation provides rich metaphors for the challenges ahead in climate adaptation. Sandy Morrison’s research project “Te Tai Uka a Pia“, due for imminent release, provides a rich source of material for navigation messages and imagery.

As our ancestors prepared to leave their homelands and travel in search of new territory, so must we consider the compromises, and the opportunities, ahead of us as our climate changes.

Living with uncertainty: Call for adaptation research ideas

Give us your two-pagers by February 19, 2021

In recent years, the policy landscape for climate adaptation in Aotearoa has shifted dramatically. There is also growing recognition that stakeholders and end users require methods and tools that help them make decisions despite uncertainty about the future. 

Our mission is to enable New Zealanders to anticipate, adapt, manage risk and thrive in a changing climate. To date, our comprehensive research portfolio has helped us deliver on “anticipating” the nature and magnitude of the challenges ahead, and the urgency with which action needs to be taken.

We are now increasing our focus on the second part of our mission statement, and are asking for your research ideas as the first stage of a new Impacts and Implications funding round, “Living with Uncertainty.”

We recognise that, as a “climate adaptation” science challenge, it’s incumbent upon us to be adaptive! We are up for the challenge of changing, not just with our climate, but with the needs of our communities, in line with expert advice from adaptation researchers.

We are looking to fund projects that either:

  • Work with end users or stakeholders on implementing adaptation approaches, where possible utilising existing research, or
  • Develop or apply approaches to support decision making under uncertainty. 

This funding round will follow a two-stage process:

  • Stage One: Interested researchers provide a brief outline of their research idea/s, using the template provided. 
    The Challenge, and key stakeholders, will review research ideas to identify those which clearly address either of the priority areas, have new or existing teams which could credibly conduct the research, and correspond with research needs already identified by stakeholders.
  • Stage Two: Based on the research ideas we receive, the Challenge will develop an RfP, and invite a small number of research teams to develop full research proposals.
    In this stage, we may suggest that researchers combine forces, or that particular researchers work with specific or general stakeholder groups. This may include limited funding and support for co-development.

More information, including a very brief template for researchers to use when considering your research ideas, are all available at this section of our website here:

Research ideas are due back with us well after the holiday period, on February 19, 2021.

Insurance retreat and climate change: Much-anticipated research released

Contractors clear road after slip.
Contractors clear road after slip. Ngaio, Wellington. Photo by Dave Allen.

In her much-anticipated Deep South Challenge research report, Insurance Retreat, Belinda Storey (Climate Sigma) attempts to look to the future, to ask how the insurance sector will respond to the ever-increasing impacts of climate change.

Within our four largest cities, at least 10,000 houses currently sit within a 1-in-100-year coastal flood zone. Nationally, around 450,000 houses are within 1km of the coast. These homes are likely to be affected by more frequent and intense storms and by sea level rise. One reason is that sea level rise allows storm surges to reach further inland.

Just 10cm of sea-level rise in Wellington, for example, will change the probability of a flood event by five times. That is, an event that might have occurred once every 100 years will soon occur every 20 years. But worsening coastal hazards are not yet fully reflected in homeowners’ decisions to purchase, develop or renovate coastal property. New Zealand is also still building new residential developments in climate-risky locations.

“People tend to be very good at ignoring low-probability events,” Storey says. “This has been noticed internationally, even when there is significant risk facing a property. Although these events, such as flooding, are devastating, the low probability makes people think they’re a long way off.”

But how are insurance companies in Aotearoa New Zealand likely to respond? Will they be as relaxed about risk as homeowners? That’s unlikely.

International experience and anecdotal evidence from those in the industry suggest that companies start pulling out of insuring properties at around 2% AEP. By 5% AEP, insurance is completely unavailable. That is, insurance companies withdraw insurance from an area when disasters (like floods) begin to occur between every 50 to 20 years. This is probably a conservative estimate.

If the probability of your hazard increases five-fold, from 1% to 5% AEP, your premium and/or excess will go up and you’ll find it increasingly difficult to renew your insurance for that hazard.

In this research, Storey analyses extreme sea levels for the Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin coastlines. Her findings indicate that homes that might currently flood only once every 100 years are likely to experience insurance retreat over the next 15 years:

To accompany the release of this research, the Deep South Challenge has published an accessible factsheet for homeowners, “Your Questions Answered: House Insurance & Climate Change.”

Wet feet? Insurance retreat…

What does climate change mean for our house insurance?

Constant Change seminar with Belinda Storey

Climate change is a slow-moving disaster that will affect all communities across Aotearoa. It might hit some of us this year, or in the next 10 years, or it might eventually take out a home we have deep historical attachment to.

Worsening coastal hazards are not yet fully reflected in homeowners’ decisions to purchase, develop or renovate coastal property. New Zealand is also still building new residential developments in climate-risky locations.

What does this mean for our house insurance?

Within our four largest cities, at least 10,000 houses currently sit within a 1-in-100-year coastal flood zone. Nationally, around 450,000 houses are within 1km of the coast. These homes are likely to be affected by more frequent and intense storms and by sea level rise. In this seminar, Belinda Storey (Climate Sigma) will take you through her much-anticipated research into “Climate change and the withdrawal of insurance.”

A recording of this seminar will be available on our YouTube channel in the days following this seminar. Please subscribe to stay up-to-date.

Sea Level Law: Case studies on council liabilities

Webinar with Catherine Iorns

One of the key trends in domestic and international climate litigation is in trying to establish who is liable for taking (or not taking) adaptation measures.

There have been at least 19 court challenges in Aotearoa to council decisions on adaptation to sea level rise. Currently, councils have a lot of leeway in their approaches to climate hazard risks, including sea-level rise. Court action across the nation is testing the limits of council authority, and showing up gaps in the legislative and policy environment.

And even though leeway exists for councils, some of their options will incur larger future liability costs than others. Further, some councils –  at least some of those involved in making adaptation decisions – appear to be unaware of the extent of their possible liability.

In this seminar, Catherine Iorns (Victoria University of Wellington) will take you through one aspect of her broad-ranging research into “Sea level rise, housing and insurance: Liability and compensation”.

DAM! Drinking water, water storage and decision making despite uncertainty

Recent and ongoing drought in Auckland and Northland highlights how vulnerable New Zealand’s water infrastructure is. We haven’t yet hit Day Zero – as happened in South Africa when Cape Town ran out of drinking water – but the spectre of thirsty people and thirsty paddocks looms large.

So is our infrastructure planning up to the task? And are our planners making the smartest possible investment decisions, given that water availability under climate change is critical but also uncertain? 

Can our dams and reservoirs be designed with both climate projections and flexibility into the projects’ very foundations? The short answer is, yes. In this seminar, Anita Wreford (Lincoln University) and Wageed Kamish (Tonkin+Taylor) will take you through their research projects, which address different aspects of these questions: Making robust decisions about New Zealand’s water and Drinking water, drought and climate change.

Anita’s research has tested a method for designing flexibility into large climate adaptation projects. Called Real Options Analysis (ROA), the method is useful across a range of investment decisions in New Zealand, where the initial cost is large and the investment is at least partially irreversible. 

Using the case study of an on-farm irrigation scheme, Anita’s multidisciplinary team – including hydrologists, economists and farm specialists – considers that ROA enables more cost-effective investment than cost-benefit analysis, for example, or other methods that use only a single climate scenario.

Wageed’s research investigates the drinking water risks that urban and rural communities would be exposed to under “yet to occur droughts” due to climate change. These risks have not, until now, been quantified. As in Anita’s project, Wageed’s team developed and tested new methods for quantifying this risk. The team’s work represents a first substantial step towards the development of a practical, transparent way of assessing the potential impact of climate change on reservoir and catchment yields for water supply. 

This seminar is the first in our new-look, Covid-era Constant Change seminar series. We hope you’ll join us online from home, from your office or from the waiting room of a Covid-testing facility, to make sure we keep climate change at the forefront of planning and investment in this time of global pandemic.

Māori and Antarctica Webinar Series: Ka mua, ka muri

In this webinar, our Vision Mātauranga programme lead, Associate Professor Sandy Morrison (University of Waikato), will be speaking about her Deep South Challenge research project Te Tai Uka a Pia. The webinar is part of a series organised by the rōpū rangahau Māori in Antarctica, which sets a wero to think about how Māori and indigenous knowledges can strengthen the global collective approach to Antarctic science, policy and governance.

We’re delighted to share news of this webinar event organised by the Vision Mātauranga rōpū rangahau of the Ross RAMP project.

Sandy Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Maniapoto; Ngāti Rārua ki te Tau Ihu, Ngāti Tama ki te Waipounamu) and Aimee Kaio (Ngāi Tahu, Tuhourangi, Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāpuhi) will speak about their imminent research Iwi relationships with the Southern and Antarctic Oceans (August 2020). The research documents Māori narratives of voyaging and mātauranga of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

According to the tribal narratives of Ngāti Rārua and Te Āti Awa, the first human to travel to the Antarctic was the Polynesian explorer Hui Te Rangiora.

Hui Te Rangiora sits aloft the meeting house Tūrangapeke, at Te Awhina marae in Motueka. He gazes out in his continual search for new lands, and in this way his journey is remembered and honoured. Te Rangiora also adorns the Pou at the entrance to the Riuwaka Resurgence in Kahurangi National Park. At this place,  he took rest and prepared himself spiritually and physically for his journey into the Southern Ocean.

This is one recorded version of Māori journeying into the Southern Ocean. But what other stories are held by hapū and iwi – especially those from Te Waipounamu (the South Island) and Rekohu (the Chatham Islands)? How might these stories frame our ongoing relationship with the Antarctic and our adaptation responses to climate change?

In this project, Sandy and Aimee worked with hapū and iwi from Te Waipounamu and Rekohu to better understand the extent and nature of the relationships Māori had with the Antarctic and Southern Oceans, and to identify local challenges associated with climate change through both tribal stories and contemporary living arrangements.

Major ocean modelling effort leads to better climate simulations

Simulation of ocean currents around Aotearoa
Simulation of ocean currents between Australia and Aotearoa. Image supplied by Erik Behrens.

The significant effort to develop and run New Zealand’s own Earth System Model (NZESM), within the Deep South Challenge: Changing with our Climate, is leading to more realistic climate simulations for New Zealand.

The major step forward is described in a paper recently published in the Journal of Advances in Earth System Modelling, co-authored by Erik Behrens and Olaf Morgenstern (both of NIWA).

Lead author and ocean modeller Erik Behrens explains how the oceans around New Zealand have to-date been poorly represented in global climate models. “Our unique oceanic currents and conditions have a major impact on the climate in our region,” he says, “and unless we capture these processes well in our climate models, we can’t fully trust our future climate projections.”

Our unique oceanic currents and conditions have a major impact on the climate in our region, and unless we capture these processes well in our climate models, we can’t fully trust our future climate projections.

“The key here is to resolve small-scale oceanic processes, such as oceanic eddies,” continues Behrens. “The oceans around New Zealand are full of these eddies.” Oceanic currents in the real world don’t flow smoothly, like in a Disney Pixar animation. They’re more like rivers with sections of wild rapids, which create small-scale eddies.

“There’s a hotspot of eddies along the Australian coast – within the East Australian Current,” Behrens explains. “South of about Sydney, this current becomes unstable and generates very intense eddies. Some of these eddies form the Tasman Front, which carries warm water towards New Zealand, while others transport water into the Tasman Sea. Small-scale eddies dominate the transport of heat throughout the ocean, and drive mixing in the ocean (including of nutrient supplies). Both ocean heat and ocean biology play a major role in climate and climate change.

Behrens, Morgenstern and others have been able to “tweak” the ocean model component of the NZ’s earth system model. The results show improved simulations of New Zealand’s present-day ocean temperatures, salinity and currents, and therefore of our ocean bio-geochemistry. Our New Zealand Earth System Model (NZESM), which builds on the UK Earth System Model (UKESM), also does a better job of simulating oceanic climate extremes in our region, such as marine heatwaves.

Last year (2019) saw marine heatwaves of 6°C above average. The UKESM underestimated these heatwaves by roughly 1°C. In general, it simulates milder ‘extremes’ and colder oceans around New Zealand than in the real world.

Small-scale eddies also influence large-scale ocean circulation, such as ocean gyres and the strong currents in the Southern Ocean. These large ocean currents transfer heat to the air, impacting our Southern Hemisphere climate.

We clearly need to be able to accurately model how these processes are changing over time, in order to prepare for our climate future. With the NZESM capturing present-day conditions around New Zealand better than our UK counterpart, we can have more confidence in our future predictions.

The results of this study have been published in the Journal of Advances in Earth System Modelling, as “Local Grid Refinement in New Zealand’s Earth System Model: Tasman Sea Ocean Circulation Improvements and Super-Gyre Circulation Implications”.

Our Kāhui Māori to protect and guide Antarctic as well as climate adaptation research

The Deep South Challenge: Changing with our Climate is humbled and excited that its Kāhui Māori have agreed to share their knowledge with the Antarctic Science Platform, and to act as its Kāhui Māori (Māori advisory group) as well.

Kāhui Māori members Sandy Morrison, Darren Ngaru King, Aimee Kaio, Shaun Awatere, Naomi Simmonds and Ruia Aperahama bring an immense amount of experience to this leadership body, and will support both our organisations to be and do better for Māori communities, including Māori researchers.

The Deep South Challenge, while increasingly focussed on climate impacts in Aotearoa, and on supporting communities in Aotearoa to adapt to climate change, builds on a core of Antarctic research. Antarctic processes are poorly represented in global climate models, and this continues to be a huge focus of our modelling programme. We are trying to improve our understanding of sea ice, clouds and ocean in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region.

A foundational research project is also led by Sandy Morrison (University of Waikato), our Vision Mātauranga programme lead, and Chair of the Kāhui Māori. Sandy’s work is uncovering new information about early Polynesian and Māori exploration to the Southern Ocean. Her research supports communities to consider not just our capacity to adapt to new environments, but the tikanga that has always underpinned processes of great change.

The Kāhui Māori is crucial to ensure that the principles of kaupapa Māori research are upheld in our organisations, and support our non-Māori research to improve its practice as well.

Antarctic Science Platform Director Nancy Bertler says the Platform is delighted with the new partnership. “We are privileged to be able to share the Kāhui’s wealth of knowledge and work closely with our friends and colleagues at the Deep South Challenge.”

Sandy Morrison says that with the first Platform hui already completed, the Kāhui is poised to begin discussions on how to ensure Antarctic science is both cognisant of and increasingly grounded in mātauranga Māori.

“Antarctica is a barometer for New Zealand and the globe, in terms of climate change signals and consequences,” Sandy says. “Solving problems as complex as climate change requires multiple knowledges. There is an historic under-representation of Māori in modern research conducted in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans. It is important to raise the status of mātauranga Māori in climate change science, and to incorporate it into discussions about adaptation to climate change. It is also crucial that we uphold the mana of this sacred place.”

Upcoming Sandy Morrison webinar: Māori in Antarctica
On Monday 27 July at 3pm, Sandy Morrison will be presenting a seminar about her Deep South Challenge research, Te Tai Uka a Pia. The research documents Māori narratives of voyaging and gathers together mātauranga around the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, including to inform future adaptation challenges. Register here:

How will climate change-induced increases in extreme rainfall effect EQC liabilities?

Weather-related hazards have already cost the EQC $450 million in (inflation adjusted) payouts since the year 2000. New research by Jacob Pastor-Paz, Ilan Noy, Isabelle Sin, Abha Sood, David Fleming-Munoz and Sally Owen has found that climate change, and the expected increase in intensity and frequency of extreme weather-related events, is likely to translate into higher damages and thus an additional financial liability for the EQC.

“Our research shows that EQC should plan for future payouts for weather-related damage to be between 9% and 25% higher than current payouts,” said Prof Ilan Noy, Chair in the Economics of Disasters at Victoria University of Wellington and one of the authors of the paper.

“We used past detailed insurance claims data together with climate projections in order to project future monetary losses from damages caused by extreme events under different climate change scenarios,” said Prof Noy. “To get to that point we analysed more than 8,000 claims lodged to the EQC between 2000 and 2017. “

The level of increase in insurance liabilities is dependent on the level of future greenhouse gasses (GHG) that will be emitted, globally.

The model identifies a ‘climate signal,’ based on the percent change between projected and past damages. It rises from an increase of between 7% and 8% in 2020-40 to an increase of between 9% and 25% in 2080-2100, depending on the projected GHG concentration scenario.  

For a future low emissions scenario, the climate signal, and therefore the expected change in damages, actually decreases toward the end of the century, when GHG concentrations in the atmosphere are assumed to decrease. In contrast, a scenario that uses the highest-emissions forecast sees the climate signal more than doubling between 2020-2040 and 2080-2100.

“The increase we have projected in the public insurer’s liabilities can also inform private insurers and regulators,” said Prof Ilan Noy. “Whether this increase necessitates a change to the amount of premiums the EQC collects annually, or in the types of risks it insures, are questions for future research and policy decisions.”

New Zealand’s population, and its residential building stock value, has been steadily growing over the past few decades. This suggests that future liabilities may be higher than what we predict.

The Motu Working Paper, “Projecting the effect of climate change-induced increases in extreme rainfall on residential property damages: A case study from New Zealand”  by Jacob Pastor-Paz, Ilan Noy, Isabelle Sin, Abha Sood, David Fleming-Munoz and Sally Owen, co-funded by the Deep South Challenge and the Earthquake Commission (EQC), is now available.

The team’s full suite of working papers is available at their project page here: