Hohepa Hamiora, then Chair of te Rereatukāhia Mārae, and Paora Tapihana, lead researcher from Takarangi Research signing the contract between the two organisations.

This year, Ngāi Tamawhariua and Takarangi Research signed an agreement that includes the hapū in a 5-year research project called Project Kāinga. This research project recognises that there are environmental, economic, social and cultural ramifications of climate change mitigation and environmental resilience for Māori.

As a coastal mārae, Te Rereatukahia Mārae is at particular risk from sea-level rise, increased flooding, extreme weather events, tsunami, increased sedimentation of Awa and Tauranga Moana, accelerated erosion. All of this has an impact on hapū and biodiversity on land and water.

The over-arching hypothesis of Project Kāinga is:

“That a low carbon and highly culturally connected future is important in strengthening community and environmental resilience.”

The project will consider what investments and leadership opportunities are appropriate for rural Māori communities pursuing low carbon and high culturally connected futures. The broad outcomes of the project are the development of innovative leadership models, cultural measurement models and tikanga guided technology to transform community action in the face of climate change.

This is not about the here and now. It is about the generations of the future and putting steps in place to equip current generations to respond to this pressing issue and to contribute to a low carbon future. It is about creating a better tomorrow for many generations to come and ensuring that they have equitable access to relevant resources so that the hapū o Ngāi Tamawhariua ki Katikati can thrive.