Te pātuitanga o ngā mana whenua me te kaunihera mō te huringa āhuarangi

Mana whenua and council partnership for climate change

Te ao Māori acknowledges the interrelationship of all living and non-living things and the interconnectedness of taiao and tāngata.

A te ao Māori perspective can help us identify ways to adapt and prepare for climate change, and to change our practices to reduce the impacts of climate change.

In the Tāmaki Makaurau context, a te ao Māori perspective guided by mana whenua is fundamental to navigate and develop Auckland’s approach to acting on climate change. The council has understood and honoured this, partnering with mana whenua iwi of Tāmaki Makaurau in the development of the plan.

In the early stages of planning, all mana whenua iwi of Tāmaki Makaurau were invited to take part in workshop hui to input into scoping the action areas for the public consultation document.

These and other early interactions with mana whenua iwi shaped the action areas in the first consultation document, now referred to as priorities, and set the foundation for how the plan has developed with input from mana whenua and other rōpū Māori.

The Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum, a collective of the 19 hapū and iwi authorities of Tāmaki Makaurau, worked closely with the council throughout the development of the plan.

The forum set up a working group with representatives from the forum, the council, and Māori subject matter experts to focus on supporting the development of climate actions for Tāmaki Makaurau. This partnership has been instrumental in ensuring the incorporation of kaupapa Māori and mātauranga-a-iwi values and principles into the plan from the outset.

The council and forum partnership also supported the contribution of a Māori subject matter expert rōpū and rōpū rangatahi Māori to contribute and take part in the development of the plan.

During the consultation phase of the plan, mana whenua and the council piloted a parallel engagement approach to support and activate Māori communities on climate change issues.

With direction from the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum, an intergenerational whakapapa centred approach was undertaken to support whānau to reconnect with the atua and, ultimately, their responsibility to care for taiao.

The shared goals of this partnership approach are to:

  • share mana whenua and Māori narratives of climate change
  • provide Māori communities with a greater understanding of climate change
  • provide Māori communities with places to share their whakaaro of climate change
  • increase Māori engagement and feedback on the draft plan during the council’s consultation period
  • seek out and secure opportunities for collective activations in the short and long term.

To seed the kōrero of climate change action with Māori in way that was meaningful and accessible for Māori, mana whenua iwi were given the opportunity to lead wānanga, hui and other community activations in their rohe.

These activations included:

  • local and sub-regional events at marae, hosted by mana whenua and community partners
  • rangatahi-led activations
  • social media, radio and online campaigns
  • linking up with existing events, such as Hīkoia te kōrero and Poukai.

Feedback from these activations helped the council to make some immediate improvements to the formal consultation process, including the development of different consultation submission forms that acknowledge the needs of different Māori communities and audiences.

The breadth and depth of engagement with Māori and Māori communities that was achieved as a result of this partnership approach was a council first, setting a new benchmark of 25 per cent Māori consultation response through formal submissions.