Mā pango, mā whero ka oti te mahi

Tino Rangatiratanga in Emergency Management

SESSION: Friday 22nd March, 3:50pm - 4:20pm
Reg Korau

After Cyclone Gabrielle in February 2023, Māori staff from local and regional councils contributed to the response and recovery operation. As one of the few Māori surge support staff deployed, I reflect on my experience in the hope that we can learn from what worked and what did not.

I saw both how things shouldn't be done; and how things can be done well, with everyone at the table. We know from the COVID-19 response that with consistent engagement - including the difficult conversations - that Iwi/Māori and Emergency Management Teams can work together to get things right. A critical first step should be relationship building; knowing those who will sustain trusted relationships during this difficult work. Also important is a structure that does not constrict Iwi/Māori decision-making and tikanga. This means that Māori must ensure that we are there as Māori or Iwi, not just as Council staff. It is important to be able to bring our tino rangatiratanga and have our Māori worldview included in emergency managememt.

The problems I observed were noted in post-quake Ōtautahi Christchurch; few well prepared and trained Iwi/Māori staff, poor integration of Iwi/Māori, our worldview and tikanga with emergency management infrastructure and processes, and barriers to Iwi/Māori engagement with Civil Defence process and policy. Weaknesses in the disaster response process and hierarchy perpetuate equity and equality implications for Māori, increasing exposure to disaster risk. Iwi/Māori need to be able to make independant decisions and be confident that the system works for them in an emergency response. Furthermore, the values and practices embedded within Iwi/Māori responses to disaster can inform national disaster policy and process development with benefit for everyone

Presented By

Reg Korau

Pouherenga-ā-Iwi me te Kaiārahi Whakamahere/Iwi Liaison Manager and Planning Team Leader, South Taranaki District Council.

Ko Taranaki, ko Taupiri ngā maunga tapu

Ko Tāngāhoe, ko Waikato ngā awa tūpua.

Ko Tāngāhoe, ko Pakakohi, ko Ngāti Ruanui, ko Tainui ngā iwi.

Ko Reg Korau taku ingoa.

Growing up in Taranaki and experiencing life has taught me to overcome differences. As a former educator and now iwi liaison I have encountered much in the Māori leadership space. I was an active function lead/member during the Covid-19 and Cyclone Gabrielle responses. Thus, having strong connections are needed for success.