Shaun Awatere explains his role as a technical advisor for Our atmosphere and climate 2020 and how his role helped to create a more innovative, inclusive report.
- Why do you think the authors of Our atmosphere and climate 2020 wanted to include a humanistic angle to the report?
- Why is wellbeing important when considering climate change?
I was a technical advisor for the Our atmosphere and climate 2020 report. The team from MfE were really looking at taking a different and innovative approach to the reporting. They wanted to move away from the biophysical-dominated types of reports and include a humanistic angle to it.
So some of the things that we were discussing was to link it back to what the government has already been doing with respect to thinking about alternative ways of measuring progress towards improving society. So the general way of measuring progress in society is to look at how much stuff that we produce in an economy. Luckily, we’re kind of moving away from that approach and towards one that’s looking at how are people’s lives are really being improved. Now that’s wrapped up around that concept of wellbeing.
Wellbeing was a key component of the reporting in terms of the impact on the wellbeing of people and the wellbeing of the environment. So as the mātauranga Māori advisor, what we took as an approach to the reporting was to think about what does wellbeing mean from a whēkaro Māori perspective? An equivalent that’s close to wellbeing is manaakitanga, and we looked at it specifically with respect to how can iwi and hapū improve or not improve their ability to manaaki, to look after people, to look after manuhiri.
Dr Shaun Awatere, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
This resource has been produced with the support of the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ. (c) Crown Copyright.