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Community Led Climate Change Projects Get A Boost

Two community led climate change adaptation projects have received funds from Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council this week to explore the future impact on their community and begin planning.

Successful applicant Ngai Tamawhariua will be exploring the potential impacts of climate change on their marae and papakāinga (homeland). The Maketū Iwi Collective will begin their climate change journey by running a series of wānanga to develop a shared understanding of how the Maketū community will be impacted.

Regional Council General Manager of Integrated Catchments Chris Ingle said these are difficult conversations being driven by community for community.

“Some communities are more vulnerable to climate change than others. This can especially be the case for any hapū and iwi whose coastal marae were constructed near to sources of kaimoana,” says Mr Ingle.

Chair of Te Rereatukahia Marae Komiti, Ngairo Eruera, says the continuing issues surrounding climate change and the challenges they pose for the future are observed frequently in their hapū community.

“Unearthing options are the types of conversations and wānanga that our hapū need to engage in, both internally and externally. The access to adaptation funding provides support towards some of our immediate initiatives to enter into the climate change fold as it occurs to us at home,” she says.

Maketū is an example of a low-lying community coastal community vulnerable to inundation and erosion.

Kaiwhakahaere for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketū, Roana Bennett, says as the climate crisis gains momentum, iwi are well positioned to take the lead.

“We have an 800-year inter-generational connection with the river, estuary and sea. We see the changes in the environment.”

“Iwi provide a strong galvanising force to act on climate change. Our aspirations are for our mokopuna and their mokopuna, and community in which they live.”

“The five wānanga will bring the community together, under the iwi umbrella, to develop a shared understanding of the climate change kaupapa. Relationships will be strengthened, providing a strong base for moving forward together” she said.

Both of these community led projects received $15,000 to enable their climate change adaptation planning and both are currently in the contracting phase of their project.

The funds for community-led grassroots climate change planning were made available through the Regional Councils recent Long-Term Plan process.

Funding is now available again and individual projects can receive up to $15,000 to start planning for a changing climate at a community scale. Applications close April 3, 2022.

More information is available at https://www.boprc.govt.nz/environment/climate-change/funds-available-for-community-adaptation-planning

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