Enhancing Resilience in MÄori Communities

The 6th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held this month over 22 – 23 May at The Star Gold Coast (previously Jupiter’s), Queensland.

Ms Meagan Edhouse, Emergency Management Advisor, Community Resilience at Emergency Management Bay of Plenty, joins us this May to discuss ‘Enhancing Resilience in MÄori Communities as an Innovative Approach’.

The Bay of Plenty region in the North Island of New Zealand is vulnerable to a wide range of hazards, including natural hazards such as severe weather events , landslips, earthquakes, volcanic eruption and tsunami. The population is 28% MÄori with 38% of the region’s land in MÄori ownership. There are 34 iwi (tribes) , over 142 hapÅ« (sub tribes) and more than 200 marae in the region.

These marae often become the hub for the community when a disaster strikes. It was recognised that a unique approach was required to effectively engage with Maori communities for emergency planning, taking into account their cultural practises and protocols, language and values.

Emergency Management Bay of Plenty, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, partner agencies and local iwi, delivered a successful pilot project in marae emergency preparedness planning.

This presentation highlights an innovative approach taken to improve engagement with Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) and provide effective customised resources for emergency planning.

The intended outcome is to increase the levels of resilience for marae communities, through greater levels of understanding of local risks and hazards, strengthened relationships between iwi and emergency management agencies and key stakeholders, and empowerment of iwi to take ownership of their emergency planning.

The collaborative process identified the need for the development of a national resource for emergency management professionals to assist them to engage with iwi, to support readiness, response, and recovery activities in their community. The development of the toolkit was greatly informed by the sharing of resources already being utilised across different regions and the collaboration of Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups across the country.

The toolkit was successfully launched nationally to emergency management staff, and relevant stakeholders in June 2016. This resource is now utilised to deliver emergency preparedness workshops to marae across the Bay of Plenty.

For more information on the 2017 Australian & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference and to secure your spot, visit www.anzdmc.com.au.