Fishing boats sitting on the Ngawi shore. PHOTO/FILE

A new report providing guidance for te ao Maori [Maori worldview] on climate change mitigation and adaptation was made public on Wednesday.

The report, He Huringa Ahuarangi, He Huringa Ao: A Changing Climate, A Changing World, was produced by a multidisciplinary Maori research team working across many research institutions.

The report used a kaupapa Maori [collective vision] risk assessment approach to climate change through a Maori lens.

The report showed potential impacts, implications, mitigation, and adaptation strategies for whanau, hapu, iwi, and Maori businesses.

The report comes after a National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research report commissioned by Greater Wellington Regional Council that showed some of the some of the boiling realities our region might face as the world continues to heat up.

The report showed that in just 20 years, Wairarapa could have up to 30 more hot days a year, an increased drought potential, higher temperatures, fewer frost days, and heavy rainfall rising by up to 15 per cent.

The report also said Wairarapa’s climate could become similar to that of Northland from 1981 to 2010.

The He Huringa Ahuarangi, He Huringa Ao report found that Maori well-being across four key domains – environment, Maori enterprise, healthy people, and Maori culture – would be moderately impacted by 2050.

Senior lecturer of medicine at the University of Auckland and report co-author Rhys Jones said the health system already failed to deliver for Maori. With a climate crisis, pre-existing issues within the health system were likely to worsen.

“Unless there is a radical change, we are going to be seeing similar kinds of dynamics as we are seeing with covid-19, just amplified in many different kinds of ways.”

The report said cultural infrastructure could also be vulnerable to climate change impacts.

“Some marae and papakainga [housing] may have to be moved, along with urupa [burial grounds] in low-lying and coastal areas prone to flooding and erosion.

Co-author and senior lecturer at Victoria University’s centre for science in society Pauline Harris said seasonal shifts in temperatures could affect snowfall and frosts, which can kickstart processes like flowering.

She said the flow-on effect of that could be a reduction in pollinators, such as bees.

“We are already seeing changes happening now. It can have impacts on our Maori businesses, particularly for those in the honey indutry.”

Harris said Maori had to be at the decision-making table when it came to climate change policy.

“The indigenous voice needs to be louder and be listened to; it needs to be more than noted.”



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