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    Why Wai?

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    Join Six Generations, Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua and Denmark's Klimatorium for a koorero exploring the Auckland Climate Festival 2023 theme: Ngaa hua o Wai

    Here we draw on local and international perspectives across Aotearoa, Europe and the UK on why Wai is important in our climate response, and explore a future vision of Tāmaki Makaurau as a truly resilient, thriving and connected Water City. 

    The webinar will be hosted by Michelle Kennedy, Founder of Auckland Climate Festival and will be joined by:

    • Johnnie Freeland (Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua, Ngai Tūhoe) and 2023 iwi host partner representative will be sharing about the background to this year’s theme, how it was informed by Te Ao Maaori worldview and references ancestral ties to Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua. Johnnie will be sharing his thoughts on how we can use water as a way to connect to ourselves, our communities and the places we reside.
    • Matthew Bradbury, Author of Water City, will be sharing his imaginative vision of Tāmaki Makaurau, drawing on his background as an Academic Landscape Architect & Urbanist and drawing on findings from his book. He’ll be sharing practical ways in which urban practitioners can embrace water in the way we design our city.
    • Sarah Lund of Denmark’s Klimatorium will be giving an overview of the work of the Klimatorium and sharing about global trends and highlights from their recent 2023 National Climate Summit which centered around the topic of Water.
    • Mark Ronald Payne-Larsen will share about the Danish National Climate Atlas Klimaatlas and how it is informing local climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.

    Each guest will talk for 10-15mins followed by a short Q&A at the end of each section. We will finish with a summary of insights and key actions for us to take forward, and then open up the floor for participants to share their future vision of Tāmaki Makaurau as a Water City and opportunities they’re seeing in their respective areas of work, local communities or on a personal level. 


    Visit for more events taking place from 31 August - 29 September 2023. 


    More about the speakers

    Johnnie Freeland, Wayfinder, Whakapapa Centred Designer (Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua, Ngai Tūhoe)

      Johnnie is a wayfinder, systems navigator and whakapapa centred designer. He brings together more than 30 years’ knowledge and lived experience of serving community and in guiding and navigating a range of Iwi, Māori community and public sector organisations in working to achieve better outcomes with Māori. He utilises mātauranga Māori – Māori knowledge systems thinking, knowledge and practice in navigating systems.  He draws on specific knowledge and practice of maramataka – lunar celestial cycles and whakatere waka – waka navigation in designing Oranga Motuhake/well-being pathways, with whānau, hapū, iwi and organisations. Johnnie has helped navigate a whakapapa centred response to climate change within Tāmaki Makaurau, through the Tāmaki Makaurau Mana Whenua Forum.  In partnering with the Auckland Council, together they worked to harness the benefits of drawing on mātauranga Māori knowledge and western science to navigate a way forward for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland through Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri Auckland’s Climate Plan. He is also worked with the Te Waiohua Iwi of Te Ākitai, Ngāti Tāmaoho and Ngāti Te Ata, in leading and underpinning Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui – Puhinui Regeneration programme alongside Auckland Council, Manurewa and Ōtara Papatoetoe Local Boards, Eke Pānuku and Kainga Ora, focused on regenerating the ecological, social, cultural and economic well-being of the Puhinui stream and its communities. Johnnie helped develop this year’s Auckland Climate Festival theme and has supported the team and event host community in the development and programming of their events leaning on maatauranga Maaori and in accordance with maramataka.

      Matthew Bradbury, Academic Landscape Architect & Author of Water City

        Dr. Bradbury is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, UNITEC, New Zealand and director of the Masters of Landscape Architecture / Architecture by Project programme. Matthews recent research has been into adapting urban development to the challenges of climate change. By understanding the hydrological landscape that underlies the city, a new city master plan can emerge, one that increases green space, encourages biodiversity, makes new public space for citizens and helps to reduce water contamination and flooding. Matthew published Water City. Practical strategies for Climate Change, with Routledge in 2020. The book demonstrates how to manage the environmental effects of climate change through urban design. It is a manual for urban stakeholders and agencies. The book has six design case studies that illustrate the methodology in New Zealand, China, the UK and the USA.

        Sarah Lund, Director of International Collaborations and Strategic Sustainability Initiatives, Danish Klimatorium, The International Climate Centre of Denmark

          Sarah helped established and now leads initiatives run out of the Klimatorium, an innovative climate center located on the west coast of Denmark. The Klimatorium is the meeting point that brings together civil society, authorities, businesses and educational institutions to discuss lifestyle, prevention and adaptation to the climate challenges we face. Its mission is, through collaboration between private and public companies, knowledge institutions and civil society, to develop new solutions to current and future challenges in the areas: Coastal Climate Challenges, Green Energy, Circular Economy, Water and the Environment. Solutions that can be used and disseminated locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.  The Klimatorium has a core focus on water, supporting Denmark’s goal to be a world leader in providing intelligent, sustainable and efficient water solutions and growth centre by 2025. The Klimatorium recently held their National Climate Summit in August 2023 bringing together speakers across Aotearoa New Zealand, Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands with a focus on the intersection between water and climate action. 

          Mark Ronald Payne-Larsen - Lead Scientist, Danish National Climate Atlast Klimaatlas

          Mark is a leading climate scientist in Denmark, originally from Aotearoa New Zealand. He coordinates the development and operation of the Danish National Climate Atlas,, providing information about future climate impacts in Denmark for use by the government, regional and local authorities and citizens in planning their climate adaptation initiatives.

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