The Department of Geography, along with the IRC New Foundations Scheme welcomes Professor Huhana Smith, Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand to present her work
THE KEI UTA COLLECTIVE – Specialist transdisciplinary platforms that increase access to, and understanding of Māori socio-spatial relations, whilst changing with a changing climate.
Iwi and hāpu Māori draw their mana, their authority and leadership as hapū and whanau (collective groupings) from their whakapapa or human genealogical relationships to the natural environment. These relationships are bound by wairua (spirit) to ancestral lands and are rooted in local culture. Local knowledge of place is the source of ‘knowing’ cosmology inseparable from the multiple tasks of living well in a specific place over a long period of time. Via taunahanahatanga or bespeaking the land through hīkoi (transdisciplinary knowledge experts walking/talking across lands) and use of korero tuku iho (oral narratives of place), these kaupapa Māori or holistic Māori methodological approaches to research align with simultaneous action on the ground. By also drawing on Māori concepts of time and space; cultures, communities, local, regional government and environmental entities can come together with common purpose to recognise, prepare for, and adapt to, the vulnerabilities of a changing climate. Kei Uta Collective is a transdisciplinary research team who have worked together since 2014 to determine necessary adaptation toolkits and transition action plans that aim to mitigate uncontrollable climate change, its unpredictability and prepare communities in the short term for their long term protection. The Kei Uta Collective have created unique and compelling collaborations where culture, science, design and contemporary art privilege Māori ideas of ecological/cultural sustainability, and which are location-specific to Kuku, Horowhenua, Te Ika a Maui/North Island, Aotearoa New Zealand.