About Us

Whiti Ora

Kimihia te pō
Rangahaua te ao
Kia Io Rangi, kia Io Whenua.
Kei ngā Mata o Te Ariki!
Kei mata nuku, kei mata rangi
Kei reira koe e Tāne Te Waiora!
Ko ngā maunga Rū, ko ngā awa Parawhenua
here uta ki tai
ki a Tangaroa e!
Ko koe ko au ko tāua nei
Whiti ao, whiti whiti ora!
Ara mai te toki!
Haumiē hui ē tāiki ē!

Explore the unknown
Investigate the known
Search heaven and earth
Physical and metaphysical. Celestial and terrestrial.
From the turbulent realm of unknown potential,
gaining enlightenment, emerging life!
The roar of mountains and overflowing rivers, bind land to sea.
An intrinsic connection, bind you and I together.
We re-emerge, resilient,
with continuing influence!
We call to action!
In this we are united, collected and agreed.

This karakia was gifted to the us by Josh te Kani (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Pūkenga)

Ngā Mātāpono Principles

As we work towards our mission of accelerating Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural hazard resilience, we are guided by the following mātāpono or principles.


In accordance with rangatiratanga, we respect the mana of leaders from communities and groups we work with and aspire to earn their respect by demonstrating open, inclusive leadership.


Creating a more resilient Aotearoa New Zealand for future generations evokes the concept of kaitiakitanga.

In particular, we recognise Māori hold an important role as kaitiaki of their local environments and communities. Māori knowledges of natural hazards and their impacts can inform responses that build resilience for tangata whenua and wider Aotearoa New Zealand.


We are motivated and guided by our care for communities at risk from natural hazards. We aspire to embody the concept of manaakitanga in our engagement with communities.


We achieve our aims through collaborating with others, for mutual benefit. In keeping with whanaungatanga, we are committed to fostering meaningful and respectful relationships with knowledge-holders, communities we are working with, and the people and groups using our research.


We learn from the concept of whakapapa. We look to the past to understand the future. We learn from traditional knowledge-holders, research leaders, affected communities and from the whenua. In turn we enable and nuture the next generation of leaders.

Mana motuhake

We believe Māori should be in control of shaping their own resilience to natural hazards, according to kaupapa and informed by mātauranga Māori.

The Resilience Challenge supports ‘by Māori for Māori’ research that addresses the resilience needs of Māori communities. In this we we support mana motuhake which describes mana through self-determination and control over one’s own destiny.


The concept of tauutuutu, or reciprocity, underpins all of these mātāpono. Tauututu is cyclical, whereby an act of good will is returned, and through these repeated acts, relationships are deepened and enriched.


He peka tītoki e kore e whati
The branch of the tītoki tree will not be broken

As well as many other chiefly attributes, the tītoki tree is known for its resilient nature, its young branches bend and sway with the wind and its inner wood is extremely tough. This term was often afforded to a person or people hard to conquer.

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