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  • Writer's pictureslambert360

Maori and Floods ...

The latest disaster to hit Aoteroa New Zealand - a series of weather events, headlined by Cyclone Gabrielle - that flooded extensive areas of AUckland, Northland, the East Coast and Hawkes Bay - reinforce the vulnerability of Indigenous communities to global heating and the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise.

ANd if you don't believe me, check out this report from NZ Treasury, hardly a bastion of wokeness... link

Newsroom's website gives a good rundown with graphics with analyses showing flood risk falls unequally on Māori, low-income households and deprived areas. [Newsroom note they obtained the modelling through an OIA request.]

"Māori and Asian New Zealanders were also slightly more likely to live in these areas than their share of the general population would suggest, while European and Pacific New Zealanders were less likely to. Almost 52% of those living in pluvial floodplains were renters, compared to a population share of 47%.
Other types of flood risk are even more unevenly distributed.
People exposed to one-in-100-year river flood risk earn 15 percent less than the median wage and have an average deprivation score of 6.67. Over 21% of them are Māori, while Māori make up just 13.4% of the general population."

Meanwhile marae, hapu and iwi are frantically resonding to community needs (and as I blog, more rain is falling...). As we observed post-earthquake in Christhchurch, communities are first responders, with an instantaneous and spontaneous response from Maori collectives that is both culturally framed and inclusive to non-Maori.

Other research is posted on this website, and I'm sure more research will be done (it is, as I've always argued, a topic with rapid growth and opportunities...). For now, Maori and other NZers are still in the response phase while trying to undertake recovery. As I've also argued, there is very little time to think of the other two R's: reduction and readiness.

There will many serious debates about how to implement an effective DRR strategy, in Aotearoa and elsewhere. Inviting Indigenous voices and accepting Indigenous rights has become a matter of urgency.

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