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Climate and Māori Society

E ngā matāwaka, tēnei te mihi atu a NIWA ki a koutou e noho mai nā i tēnā koko, i tērā koko o te whenua o Aotearoa.

Climate has always been important for Māori. It affects natural environmental systems and resources, influences social-ecological knowledge and practice, shapes community vulnerability and resilience, and is directly linked to economic investment and government policy. Given the diverse realities and climate sensitivities that exist for Māori across New Zealand there is a widening interest to know more about the implications (and risks) of a variable and changing climate on different iwi/hapū/whānau. Māori stakeholders wish to learn more about the links between climate adaptation, natural hazards and sustainable development; to understand what makes some stakeholders more resilient than others; and to promote Māori knowledge and values in environmental policy, planning and management.

Projected climate change impacts - and the adaptation they will demand - will present new challenges (as well as opportunities) for iwi/hapū/whānau and Māori enterprise. Reaffirmation of traditional ways and knowledge as well as new and untried strategies will therefore be important for ensuring the long-term sustainability of climate sensitive communities and activities in the context of a changing climate. Inevitably, there is some uncertainty about the timing and exact nature of climate change impacts, but those who consider and plan early for the future impacts of climate variability and change will likely secure considerable advantage. To inform those choices, NIWA's Māori Environmental Research Centre and the National Climate Centre have developed the research programme: Climate and Māori Society

NIWA has produced a range of publications – peer reviewed papers, technical reports, popular articles, presentations and posters – funded and supported through this programme. Links to selected documents are provided for your use in the tables below. More will be added as they are completed.

Publications/Reports/Popular articles

Coastal adaptation to climate variability and change: 
Examining community risk, vulnerability and endurance at Mitimiti, Hokianga, Aotearoa-New Zealand
 (PDF 3.5 MB)
September 2013 AKL2013-22 Report
Coastal adaptation to climate variability and change: 
Examining community risk, vulnerability and endurance at Manaia Settlement, Hauraki-Waikato, Aotearoa-New Zealand
 (PDF 7.1 MB)
December 2012 AKL2012-029   Report
Māori community adaptation to climate variability and change: Examining risk, vulnerability and adaptive strategies with Ngāti Huirapa at Arowhenua Pā, Te-umu-kaha (Temuka), New Zealand   (PDF 17.7 MB)
March 2012
AKL2011-015 Report

The climate change matrix facing Māori society 

January 2010
New Zealand Climate Change Centre
Ground-truthing pre-event recovery planning issues with Ngati Rongomai (PDF 6.3 MB) December 2008
AKL2008-087 Report

Facing natural hazards with Māori environmental knowledge 

June 2008
Water & Atmosphere 16(2)
Popular article

Māori environmental knowledge and natural hazards in Aotearoa – New Zealand (PDF 792 KB)

June 2007
Journal of the Royal Society NZ
Māori environmental knowledge in natural hazards management and mitigation (PDF 1.6 MB) June 2006
AKL2006-055 Report
Understanding local weather and climate using Māori environmental knowledge June 2006
Water & Atmosphere 14(2)
Popular article
Anticipating local weather and climate outcomes using Māori environmental indicators (PDF 274 KB) December 2005
AKL2005-129 Report

* NIWA client reports


Traditional Māori Weather and Climate Forecasting (PDF 3.2 MB) December 2007 NIWA Poster No. 6
Traditional Māori Weather and Climate Forecasting (PDF 3.6 MB) June 2006 NIWA Poster No. 4
River Footprint. Credit Dave Allen NIWA.