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Natural and man-made disasters feature in conference

Natural and man-made disasters feature in Maori social science conference

November 28, 2012

The annual Maori Association of Social Science conference in Christchurch today and tomorrow will discuss issues relating to the recent natural and man-made disasters in Christchurch and Aotearoa, University of Canterbury’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor Maori Darryn Russell said today.

The conference at the University of Canterbury (UC) would look at research, reconnecting and the rebuild mostly relating to Christchurch, he said.

The unnatural disasters refer to the Pike River explosion and the impact of the sinking of the Rena on Astrolabe Reef, as well as broader economic and political changes.

A number of academics speaking at the conference, to be held on the UC campus, will present research on how the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes impacted on Maori in Canterbury.

``The wider principles of social science research have strong underpinnings in and application for Maori development within the nation’s fabric and future,’’ Mr Russell said.

``Our ability to profile national and international scholars in the local academy and community is fundamental to the growth of the discipline and position of research in whakapakari Maori.

``Ngai Tahu’s involvement in the conference is important, as is the generous contribution from many speakers, notably that of Professor Sir Mason Durie, whose immense scholarship and leadership in this field will be one of the many highlights of the conference.’’

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