February 11, 2020
Climate resilience starts at home
Climate Change Iwi Leaders Group chair Mike Smith is planning a series of hui to help communities understand how it will affect them personally.
He says too much talk about climate change is at an abstract level, but people need to understand how it may affect their roads, rivers and homes.
He says most councils still aren’t factoring climate change into their plans, so Māori communities need to take a lead or they risk being left out, even as their homes, marae and food gathering areas are most vulnerable to the effects of change.
"When you talk to our people that live close to the land, they know the rhythms of that land and the rhythms of the rivers and how that environment works or doesn't work so they can bring a lot of that knowledge to the table as well and start the task of planning how to make their communities more resilient," he says.
Mike Smith says the current water crisis in Kaikohe, with residential water restricted to drinking, cooking and washing only, shows what can happen when planners fail to take climate change into account.
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