Stakeholder factsheet

Embedding Adaptation: Policy Brief

To date, adaptation efforts have focused mainly on technical analysis of exposure to natural hazards, and there is reliance on protective works like stopbanks and seawalls. Understanding physical exposure to natural hazards is necessary but not sufficient. The drivers and root causes of vulnerability – what makes people susceptible to harm – have been ignored. Consequently, natural hazard risk (which is the product of both physical exposure and social vulnerability) is seldom fully understood and effectively addressed. Moreover, the ways in which power and politics influence adaptation efforts are all but ignored. To make matters worse, community adaptation efforts are seldom mainstreamed into Local Government’s formal regulatory planning provisions and even less frequently into relevant marae, hapū and iwi planning and decision-making processes.

The focus of this project was on how adaptation politics and practices shape community-local government-tangata whenua interactions in a bi-cultural setting bound by Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. We sought to identify barriers and enablers for strengthening community-based adaptive capacity by building trusting and enduring relationships between residents, mana whenua and local government. Our approach was founded on participatory action research and co-design based on critical social science and analysis of power, politics, vulnerability, Te Ao Māori, and local government practice. Our goal was to foster enabling and enduring community-based partnerships that build the adaptive capacity and resilience of those living in harm’s way.

A summary of this project can be found here


Embedding adaptation