Collaborative strategies for enhancing hapū connections to lands
In The Contemporary Pacific: Experiencing Pacific Environments Pasts, Presents, Futures (University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu: 2018). Edited by Sina Emde, Eveline Dürr and Philipp Schorch.
Since 1996, considerable challenges have faced hapū in terms of ecosystem decline in lands and waterways within southwestern coastal Māori lands from the Horowhenua to Kāpiti regions of Te Ika a Maui, Aotearoa.
The rationales for hapū re-enhancing intergenerational connections to their lands have required culturally led, collaborative, innovative, solutions-focused, and transformative actions to reinstate well-being to areas of cultural and natural value.
Beginning with the project “Manaaki Taha Moana: Enhancing Coastal Ecosystems for Iwi and Hapū” (2010–2015), hapū have collaborated with specialists to cocreate new frameworks for addressing short-term issues and long-term impacts of sea-level rise, leading to the “Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change for Coastal Māori Communities” project (2015–2017).
Building on Māori methods such as wānanga, hui, and hīkoi, these approaches have strengthened localized cultural knowledge of place as the lens through which climate change and fluvial geomorphology sciences can be viewed. Developed design scenarios have encouraged beneficial relationships between culture, settlement form, ecologies, economies, and farming practices in order to better prepare Māori communities for the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of climate change.
Art and design have helped bridge Māori culture, sciences, and communities’ understanding of complex data within university-based and curated exhibitions.
The project, “Risk Management Planning for Climate Change Impacts on Māori Coastal Ecosystems and Economies” (2017–2019), envisages integrative decision-making tools to enable more coastal Māori landholders to assess the risks and benefits associated with alternative coastal land uses and economies.