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Standing upright here: critical disaster studies viewed from the Antipodes

Steve Matthewman & Simon J. Lambert (Tūhoe, Ngāti Ruapani)

This article seeks to reinvigorate disaster scholarship, given the disastrous times we find ourselves in. In order to do so, we extend the spatial and temporal horizons of disasters, and consider them as normal processes as well as aberrant events. Knowledge need not exclusively emanate from the metropolitan centres of the Global North. We begin by examining the field’s ‘threshold concepts’, subjecting them to an urgent Indigenous evaluation. Second, as cities are the Anthropocene’s primary terrain, we illustrate the numerous ways in which the recovery from the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence offers global lessons. Third, leveraging understandings from the preceding sections, we orient towards a more hopeful intellectual frontier – a decolonised disaster studies as seen from the perspective of Aotearoa New Zealand. Since much disaster scholarship emphasises failure and loss, here we consider what gained through a fuller appreciation of mātauranga Māori.

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Perspectives on Genetic Technologies and Pest Management

Te Tira Whakamātaki - April 2024

Pest management remains one of the primary discussions within conservation and environmentalist circles in Aotearoa – New Zealand. Conversations about best practices in pest management, new tools necessary, and the potential for using genetic technologies to rid the country of pests have increased and we believe it is important to gauge the level of interest and comfortability of Māori and non-Māori to help inform our positions. Therefore, we (Te Tira Whakamātaki [TTW]) recently published a short online survey that built on the results of one done in 2018 by researchers at Lincoln University. The purpose of this survey was to explore the public’s attitudes and knowledge of biosecurity, environmental behaviours, and comfort with various genetic tools in pest management. Another purpose was to compare responses between Māori and Pākehā to assess whether differences existed between the groups that would affect how we talk about, think, and act in this space. The results from this report are an output of other work that TTW is involved in, funded by the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.

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TTW Annual Survey (2023)

Te Tira Whakamātaki - December 2023

Read our latest annual survey report that outlines the differences we've been able to make since TTW was established.


A Statement on Artificial Intelligence

Te Tira Whakamātaki - December 2023

At Te Tira Whakamātaki, we recognise the value of new technologies, from AI to GMOs, in planning and operationalising our biosecurity and other environmental activities. Yet we hear from our network and collaborators that so much research is fraught with logistical, ethical, financial and governance demands that always seem to fall on individuals who spend their Tuesday nights in draughty church halls with six other people trying to respond to the latest emergency that has hit their community. Read our statement on Artificial Intelligence here.

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