Working Paper: Impacts on Māori of the Ōtautahi/Christchurch earthquakes

This is an updated draft of a Working Paper on our survey results, framed by statistics and interview quotes gathered over the past year.

Maori Resilience to the Otautahi earthquakes (updated)

Our conclusions are that while resilience has become a commonplace term within the city, our results show the Māori experience thus far is best described as endurance: the ‘bounce back’ in people’s well-being has yet to happen. This should not be a surprising conclusion at this stage of the recovery in a process that will take many years to complete.

Overall, Māori are remarkably philosophical about the effects of the disaster with many proudly working in their roles through a historic event of great significance to the city and country. Most believe that ‘being Māori’ has helped cope with the disaster although for some this draws on a collective history of poverty and marginalisation, features that undoubtedly contribute to the vulnerability of Māori to such events. Reducing our future vulnerability will require the collective continuance of our cultural practices and an increase in Māori economic wellbeing.

l-r, Drs. Simon Lambert and Amanda Black (both Tuhoe) and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt (Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Te Arawa, Ngati Raukawa)

About Lambert, Simon

Senior lecturer in Maori environmental planning and development, Simon has a broad research background having worked on small-scale Maori horticulture, customary fisheries, the Maori economy, the history of Maori farming, innovation by small-scale inventors, and the Indigenous geography of disasters.
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