National | Antarctica

Mātauranga Māori takes vital role in protecting Antarctic climate research

Advisory group Kāhui Māori will be taking a vital role in protecting and guiding the upcoming Antarctic and climate adaptation research.

Kāhui Māori will share itsknowledge with the Antarctic Science Platform to help guide the Deep South Challenge: Changing with our Climate programme, aimed at supporting New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk and thrive in a changing climate.

Kāhui Māori member Sandy Morrison says the group is looking forward to beginning discussions on how to ensure Antarctic science is both cognisant of and increasingly grounded in mātauranga Māori.

“Solving problems as complex as climate change requires multiple pieces of knowledge. There is an historic under-representation of Māori in modern research conducted in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans," she says.

“It is important to raise the status of mātauranga Māori in climate change science, and to incorporate it into discussions about adaptation to climate change. It is also crucial that we uphold the mana of this sacred place.”

One of the goals of the Deep South Challenge is to improve understanding of sea ice, clouds and ocean in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region.

Researchers will also focus on climate impacts in Aotearoa.

Antarctic Science Platform Director Nancy Bertler says the platform is delighted to have the support of Kāhui Māori.

“We are privileged to be able to share the Kāhui’s wealth of knowledge and work closely with our friends and colleagues at the Deep South Challenge,” she says.

Kāhui Māori members also include Darren Ngaru King, Aimee Kaio, Shaun Awatere, Naomi Simmonds and Ruia Aperahama.