In a rohe already seeing the impacts of climate change first-hand, the Maketū community in the Bay of Plenty has come together to develop a plan to reduce emissions and help manage future loss.
The plan’s development follows a series of community workshops, led by the Maketu Iwi Collective, to develop a shared understanding of how climate change will impact the low-lying coastal area that is already vulnerable to water inundation and erosion.
Called He Toka Tū Moana Mō Maketū (the Maketū Climate Change Adaptation Plan), the strategy is concise and straightforward, and aims to safeguard the future of Maketū's people, places and natural environment.
Kaiwhakahaere for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketū, Roana Bennett, says the plan is not intended to sit on a shelf, but to be activated and progressed for the safety and wellbeing of the community, but the community’s help is needed to achieve this.
“We’re asking everyone in Maketū to take a good look at the plan, talk about it with whānau, friends and neighbours, and think about what they can do to help make this happen.
“We know lots of our whānau will be around for the summer, so it’s the perfect time to have this kōrero and reflect on what you want the future to look like for yourself and the generations to come,” she said.
Petera Tapsell, kaumātua and chairman of Whakaue Marae Trustees, says: “This plan is a beacon of hope for the future. The full impact of climate change will be felt by generations to come. We need to let them know that here in Maketū we did everything we possibly could.”
Due to Maketū's geographical position, the area has seen more frequent coastal flooding, including near Whakaue Marae, following subtropical storms. In 2019, large swells caused a landslide, resulting in koiwi (human remains) tumbling from the clifftop urupā at Ōkurei to the beach below.
“In this time of great change we need to guide our people through these seismic pressures to ensure the survival of future generations. As hau kāinga, we have an obligation to care for everyone within our rohe, which is why we are helping drive this kaupapa,” says Ms Bennett.
In order to progress the plan’s implementation, the collective, consisting of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketū, Whakaue Marae Trustees and Ngāti Pikiao Noho Ki Tai, is keen to hear from locals who are willing to help with project management, communications, be on the working group and/or work on specific projects, such as the development of mara kai (community gardens).
“We mihi the many projects already under way in Maketū. This plan will provide space for climate action collaboration and to focus support,” says Ms Bennett.
He Toka Tū Moana Mō Maketū has been developed in conjunction with the local community and outlines interconnected issues, strategic priorities, kaupapa and actions that will ensure the Maketū community is prepared for, can adapt to, and will be resilient to a changing climate.
There are five strategic priorities - caring for 1) waters, 2) lands and 3) home; 4) ensuring security and self-sufficiency, and 5) fostering and enabling collective knowledge and wisdom.
Twelve kaupapa have been identified to drive action and progress for these strategic priorities. They range from the development of mara kai (food gardens) and a tree nursery, as well as a community emergency response plan, education programmes and a land use change project.
Seven ‘enabling actions’ will ensure the plan is effective, successful and long-lasting. They include the founding of an iwi-led working group, strong collaboration with relevant stakeholders and project management.
The Maketū Iwi Collective is keen to get this work under way early next year, so if you want to stay updated and/or play a part in this important mahi, please get in touch. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the whole plan, visit www.MaketuClimatePlan.iwi.nz.