Culture & Climate Change

looking through a textured pipe to the sky

Centring culture in public engagement on climate change

How do people’s cultural values shape and influence the way they might adapt to the new realities of climate change?

  • Project Duration: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019.
  • Project Budget: 270,600 (GST excl.)

People need reliable, up-to-date information to be able to make important decisions about their future. Yet many vulnerable businesses and communities in New Zealand are struggling to understand how they should respond to the significant threats that climate change poses to our economy, our social fabric, our cultural traditions and our way of life.

Māori, for example, have a strong interest in debates about climate action and environmental issues, as well as concern about the impact on traditional cultural practices such as weaving and food gathering.

The project will use methodologies such as actor-system mapping, scenario building and citizen panels to construct a framework for engaging with people about climate adaptation that puts culture at its centre. It will engage with a wide range of New Zealanders – including farmers, small-to-medium business owners, tourism operators, iwi and hapū, and residents living in coastal or low-lying areas – to find out what people already know about climate change, and to work on a range of strategies to prepare for climate change events, such as extreme weather, flooding rivers and rising sea levels.

Contact Principal Investigator

Dept of Management Communication, University of Waikato

Email:, Telephone: (07) 838-4450

The team members are Co-PI Professor Priya Kurian, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato and AIs Associate Professor Sandy Morrison, Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies, University of Waikato, and Dr Lyn Kathlene, Spark Policy Institute, Denver, USA.


Have a look at all Deep South Challenge - Funded Projects

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