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Just add Mauri: Water-sensitive design meets tikanga Maori

18/12/17

When it comes to stormwater engineering, how do we ensure cultural and social outcomes are not swept aside by the dollars delivered through cost-benefit analysis? Troy Brockbank discusses the concept of mauri to bridge the worlds of traditional stormwater management, water-sensitive design and tikanga Māori.

When it comes to stormwater engineering, how do we ensure cultural and social outcomes are not swept aside by the dollars delivered through cost-benefit analysis? Troy Brockbank uses the concept of mauri to bridge the worlds of water-sensitive design and tikanga Maori.

Troy Brockbank (Te Rarawa, Ngati Hine, Ngapuhi) is a civil engineer, stormwater practitioner and design manager at specialist stormwater management company Stormwater360. In his work, he faces conflict between the objectives of core water-sensitive design and the principles of tikanga Maori (or traditional Maori practices). However, he sees that the concept of mauri can help assess, manage and bridge these two world views.

According to Troy, the ideas behind mauri, which is often described as representing a holistic view of wellbeing, align well with the RMA definitions of environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing.

In his opinion the use of mauri in decision-making, in place of traditional monetary-based cost benefit and multi-criteria analysis tools, allows for a better assessment and calculation of the impact on these wellbeings.

“The use of a mauri model also tends to help reconnect all involved groups – whether it be mana whenua, council or stormwater practitioners – back to the land and, more appropriately in this context, back to water,” he says.

Yet, as he points out, very few local authorities take the mauri of the community and its surroundings into consideration when they commission stormwater work. This is, he asserts, a discussion that needs to be had.

We asked him to tell us more... For the full article refer https://localgovernmentmag.co.nz/lg-magazine/3-waters/mauri/

Just add Mauri: Water-sensitive design meets tikanga Maori
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