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Integrating mātauranga Māori into community resilience frameworks for the built environment

Efforts to improve community resilience have seen universal efforts to grow capabilities in disaster management for the built environment. Although comprehensive frameworks exist, the perspective used to derive these frameworks fails to address marginalised communities' vulnerabilities, including the Indigenous Māori people. Colonisation and socio-economic deprivation of Māori mean community response frameworks fail to reflect their values and specific needs when preparing and responding to natural disasters. The nature of Māori culture and values presents an opportunity to reimagine the scope of community resilience for an inclusive framework. The Māori history has resilient practices weaved into the very fabric of their culture through the oral transmission of waiata, whakataukī, whakairo, and pūrākau. The practice of community resilience amongst ancient Māori was not consigned to singular events but is a holistic perspective bound to their manner of living. Sourcing and qualifying this information from people aligned and immersed in nature is the knowledge required to improve the frameworks to respond to natural disasters while expanding the literature on community resilience. This study collaborated with Ngāti Toa to represent the Māori worldview using tikanga Māori and Kaupapa Māori methodology in an action-based participatory research approach. The research analyzed traditional Māori resilience through wānanga and korero kanohi-ki-te-kanohi and evaluated various mātauranga, tikanga, and kaupapa that relate to the resilient nature of Ngāti Toa. Modern Māori perspectives of community resilience were compared to this information using a realistic earthquake scenario in the Wellington region. This led to expanding community resilience to be more inclusive of Māori communities and informed measures to enhance their resilience and address their unique needs following a disaster. This study found that the Ngāti Toa community employs traditional resilience practices dating back to their migration to Aotearoa from Hawaiki. These practices are community-led and grounded in unity, with resilience being viewed as a collective responsibility. The study identified various Te Ao Māori resilience principles by translating traditional resilience principles into corresponding Te Ao Māori principles. A response and recovery plan was developed for Ngāti Toa in response to a realistic earthquake scenario. This plan includes a vulnerability matrix and a community resilience calculator to inform Ngāti Toa of their vulnerability level and needs following a disaster. The community resilience frameworks developed for the Wellington region in response to the 7.5 magnitude earthquake were found to be economically dependent and did not utilize the response capabilities and strengths of Ngāti Toa. The frameworks lacked proper representation from Ngāti Toa and failed to address the needs of the Māori community in Wellington, resulting in inequitable outcomes. To rectify this, Page | iii community resilience frameworks for Māori should adopt a principle-based approach that supports collaborative engagement and integrates Māori cultural values. Unity is a crucial strength underpinning Māori resilience. Technological mediums such as retrofitting Marae should be developed to enhance Māori response capabilities and harness the strengths of Te Ao Māori resilience.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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