Monday, September 15, 2014

Indigenous Peoples and urban disaster: Māori responses to the 2010-12 Christchurch earthquakes

We've just published another article from our research into how Maori were impacted by the earthquakes in Christchurch over the past 3 years. In this article I argue that although Indigenous Peoples retain traditional coping strategies for disasters despite their frequent marginalisation, Indigenous communities are increasingly urban and away from their traditional territories. I go on to describe the impacts on and response of Māori to the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2012 through analyses of available statistical data and reports, and interviews done six months and then 14-16 months after the most damaging event, noting that a significant difference between Māori and ‘mainstream’ New Zealand is the greater mobility enacted by Māori throughout this period. I reiterate that Maori organisations deployed resources beyond their traditional catchments throughout the disaster, including important support for non-Māori. Relationships between local and non-local Indigenous individuals and collectives may be problematic in general development contexts and the post-disaster landscape in particular. This emphasises the need for informed engagement with Indigenous communities which would enable more efficient disaster responses in many countries.

A PDF of the article can be download here

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Simon Lambert

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