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Ed Sheeran

Māori top of agenda for planners

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The Planning Institute is being congratulated for putting Māori front and centre of this year’s annual conference.

The conference next week in Napier will include sessions on Māori involvement in freshwater management, indigenous planning and new bi-cultural tools for engaging with mana whenua.

Tahu Kukutai from Waikato University’s National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis says there needs to be a stronger regional and community focus for understanding how to respond to demographic change.

What happens on the ground is complex, and a Māori lens can be critical.

"I mean if you look at an area like Gisborne for example, more than two thirds of the tamariki population are Māori. In the future, the next 20 years, 80 percent of the tamariki population there is going to be Māori. If you think about investing in the future economic, social well being of that region, you have to have tamariki Māori at the forefront there," Dr Kukutai says.

She says mana whenua and Māori communities best know their people and often have solutions to their challengers, and planners often fail to tap into that local knowledge.



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