Ngā pānga o te huringa āhuarangi ki a Ngāi Māori

Impacts of climate change for Māori

​Indigenous peoples constitute less than five per cent of the world’s population, but they safeguard 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity.

The global response to climate change requires applying all the best knowledge available, including the perspectives of indigenous peoples.

Indigenous peoples are not only among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, they also hold many of the solutions to adapting to it.

Te ao Māori calls for the protection and preservation of all that is culturally significant, to protect and preserve our taonga. The legacy of our ancestors, that we in turn leave for future generations, lies in the balance.

The impacts of climate change on the cultural, social, environmental, and economic wellbeing of Māori are potentially profound.

Māori communities are already vulnerable and many marae, wāhi tapu and papakāinga are located in rural coastal communities.

These implications include:

  • mana whenua relationships to ancestral taonga, cultural knowledge and practices are at risk - sea rise is compromising wāhi tapu, Māori land holdings, marae and other significant sites
  • potential socio-economic impacts on whānau - proposed responses to climate may present a further disadvantage for Māori
  • whānau Māori who are already in a precarious financial position, have less access to resources to respond to rapidly worsening conditions
  • marae, urupā and wāhi tapu will be exposed to inundation and flooding
  • indigenous flora and fauna are under threat from a changing environment, particularly where those changes are so fast or significant that species cannot adapt or are overrun by exotic invasive species
  • climate migrants within Tāmaki Makaurau and our Pacific island whānau will require additional support.