Go back to "Publications"

Climate Change and te ao Māori: Have your say on the draft national adaptation plan

We’re consulting on a draft national plan to help Aotearoa New Zealand adapt to and minimise the harmful impacts of climate change.

We’re asking for feedback from all communities, including Māori, on the draft plan.

Consultation will close at 11:59pm on 3 June 2022.

Read the full consultation document and the draft national adaptation plan, and have your say.

The national adaptation plan

The Government is putting together a national plan to help New Zealanders adapt to and live with the effects of climate change that are locked in and cannot be reversed: things like rising sea levels and coastal erosion, along with more frequent floods, droughts and storms.

We’re seeking feedback on the draft national adaptation plan from different communities, including iwi and Māori. We need to make sure that the plan meets your needs.

Climate change risk assessment

In 2020, the National Climate Change Risk Assessment set out the main risks that New Zealanders face from the impacts of climate change.

These include risks to people’s homes and safety, their livelihoods, marae and cultural sites of significance.

The national adaptation plan is about what we’ll do to avoid and manage these risks, as we adapt to living with a different climate.

Climate change impacts

Everyone is affected by climate change, but some communities are disproportionately impacted by the damaging effects of extreme temperatures and weather events.

Many Māori live in coastal or rural areas, which can bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change. A recent example is the extreme weather in Tairāwhiti where homes were flooded, cars washed away, and infrastructure was so damaged that people had problems accessing food, medical supplies and outside help.

Climate change impacts are having dramatic effects on the forestry, seafood and primary sectors, and require all these sectors to change how they operate. These industries are a major area of investment and employment for Māori.

In some locations, cultural sites of significance, such as marae and urupā, are highly likely to be affected. Some communities have moved their cultural assets, while others are planning to do so. Mahinga kai and rongoā may also be disrupted.

Actions for climate adaptation

The draft plan has various actions developed specifically for Māori, along with broader actions that will have a benefit for Māori. In particular, the following actions are targeted toward supporting Māori to determine and develop their options for adaptation.

We want to know what you think of the actions within the national adaptation plan and to hear your suggestions about what may be missing or not needed.

Rauora framework

Rauora is a conceptual Māori framework that provides a distinctive Māori worldview of climate change, bringing together Māori values and principles. Rauora promotes balance, transformative actions, strengthening of resilience and interconnectedness. These themes provide the opportunity for further dialogue with the Crown on developing future climate pathways that align with Māori perspectives and values. The Rauora framework is summarised in the national adaptation plan, with a link provided to the full text.

Establishing a foundation to work with Māori on climate actions

This concerns the establishment of a platform to support Māori climate action. Through this, Māori will be supported to define, measure and implement a national Māori climate strategy and action plan for both adaptation and emissions reduction. It will deliver mechanisms for Māori to actively participate in policy design, tangata Māori climate actions, and support Māori to develop climate strategies and action plans for adaptation and mitigation.

A range of other actions of particular relevance to Māori are outlined in the plan.

  • More detailed climate data for communities to make sound decisions on adaptation, for example:
    • developing mātauranga Māori Environmental Indicators to enable the establishment of a climate data baseline
    • developing socio-economic and climate variables for Māori
    • continuing funding for development of national climate data sets, including those using mātauranga Māori indicators.
  • Natural Environment chapter supports the protection of taonga species through the implementation of the National Policy Statement (NPS) on Indigenous Biodiversity.
  • Communities chapter includes resources and support for Māori communities to adapt to a changing climate, strengthen resilience and improve engagement pathways between the Crown and Māori. Proposed work includes expanding the funding provided to Māori and iwi during COVID-19; a community resilience programme; and programmes to strengthen social cohesion and provide more support for communities disproportionately affected by climate change.
  • Homes, buildings and places chapter focuses on ensuring homes, buildings and places in Aotearoa New Zealand – including community spaces and sites of cultural significance, such as urupā and marae – are resilient in the face of climate change. Actions proposed in this chapter include using iwi management plans for adaptation, partnering with Māori land owners, and understanding and minimising the impacts to cultural heritage arising from climate change.
  • Infrastructure chapter focuses on vital assets and services, such as transport, water and energy. Actions include developing a methodology for assessing climate change impacts on physical assets and services, and developing the Waka Kotahi Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan. The Māori agribusiness programme will be extended, and a programme developed to build climate resilience amongst Māori-owned businesses.
  • Economy and financial systems chapter includes actions specific to Māori-owned small businesses and agribusinesses. For the seafood sector, support is provided for the Aotearoa Circle Seafood Sector Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. The chapter also includes an action to explore options to support access and affordability of insurance for floods.

Let us know what you think of the plan

Please take the opportunity to have your say on the national adaptation plan. You can make a submission until Friday 3 June. We want to hear your views on how well the plan meets your needs and how government can best support iwi and Māori to adapt to the locked-in impacts of climate change.

Read the draft national adaptation plan

Read our consultation material

Read the plan summary

Make a submission

See more on...