Enhancing earthquake and tsunami preparedness and response in Kura Kaupapa Māori/Schools in Tairāwhiti and Waiāriki, Aotearoa New Zealand
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Aotearoa New Zealand is exposed to numerous potentially damaging impacts from various hazard events. The east coast of the North Island, one of the most active seismic regions in New Zealand, faces significant earthquake and tsunami risk. Given the variety of hazards the regions face, how risks are managed within schools needs to be considered. This research aims to understand the challenges and opportunities for enhancing earthquake and tsunami preparedness and response in Te Tairāwhiti/Waiāriki Kura Kaupapa Māori/ Schools. Seven schools were visited from Gisborne to Torere in September 2022. Information was collected from a hui with school staff. Topics included tsunami zones, evacuation practice, resources for teachers, planning at home, school response plans, stakeholder involvement, and capability development. There are two dominant languages in the East Coast region, Te Reo o te Tairāwhiti and English. Formalities and prestige are conducted in Te Reo o te Tairāwhiti. Te Reo o te Tairāwhiti and tikanga (protocols) o te Tairāwhiti go in unison. The uniqueness of the Tairāwhiti language and protocols promote action and a stronger response to an event. A forwarded work programme was discussed, with the co-development of plan for maps and signage, care packs, and other community-based activities in 2023 and 2024. Ideas around each will be outlined in this paper.