Monday, July 02, 2012

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga project launched: Networks of Support for Māori Mental Health: The response and recovery of Tangata Whaiora through the Ōtautahi earthquakes.

Very proud to have spoken for our latest project which was launched with five other great projects at this weeks International Indigenous Development Conference at Auckland University. For our team at Lincoln, the recent earthquakes in Ōtautahi/Christchurch have clearly challenged all networks in the city at a time when many individuals, whānau, and communities were under severe economic pressure. Traditionally, Māori draw on extended whānau, marae, hapū and iwi for their ‘resilience’ - the ability to absorb shocks and speedily regain stability following disturbance. Specifically we examine networks of health and well-being through community support for Tangata Whaiora (Māori mental health clients) and their whānau whose experiences will be recorded and then analysed to identify pathways by which this community has shown resilience through the disaster. 

The project also presents a unique opportunity for illuminating the interface of two bodies of knowledge: Mātauranga Māori on the one hand, and the rapidly evolving sciences of disasters and hazards on the other. We explore online community mapping with particular attention to how ‘cloud’ computing opens up opportunities for Māori communities (and especially rangatahi) to programme their own knowledge requirements for individual and collective resilience. The deaths, destruction, and dislocation in Ōtautahi have revealed a compelling urgency to develop more effective strategies for surviving future disasters in Aotearoa/New Zealand. For future Māori community resilience, time-critical Māori-centric approaches such as this are vital.

I took very few photos during the conference but did find this little piece of graffiti near Queen Street.

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Simon Lambert

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