The life supporting capacity of Ranginui and Papatūānuku is upheld in perpetuity. Iwi are effectively exercising kaitiakitanga as they define it; ensuring the mauri of their resources are protected for future generations. Reverse the impacts that climate change is having on our environment and people. Aligning our business models to be consistent with our own kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga values.

Ko Tokatoka te maunga.

Ko Wairoa te awa.

Ko Te Kōpuru, ko Glinks Gully te whenua.

Kei Whāngarei taku kainga noho.

Ko Ngati Pākehā o Te Tai Tokerau te iwi.

Ko Peter Bruce-Iri taku ingoa.

I have had two major careers so far, the first in horticulture, and in 2021 I finished with NorthTec after three decades of tertiary teaching. My research at NorthTec focused mostly on regenerative food systems and climate change. For example, in 2020 I was part of a UNESCO funded team investigating the interface between mātauranga Māori and regenerative farming (let me know if you would like a copy of the report). I have been the lead convenor for two climate change conferences, both hosted at Te Puna o te Mātauranga at NorthTec. My book How plants cool and heal the climate: Finding solutions close to home will be published soon.

My role in Te Kahu o Taonui

I have been contracted to support the Pou Taiao, including climate change mahi. Climate change is an existential threat. I want to contribute, because Huria and I have children and moko and we want them to be able to live a good life on this planet.  

What I hope to achieve

Western science likes to reduce problems down to numbers and emphasises emissions reductions, so they overlook the massive opportunity nature provides to heal the climate. Kōrero in my early days with Te Kahu o Taonui suggests four broad areas to work on:

Any climate action work should also generate benefits for whanau. While we have to get off fossil fuels as soon as possible, the best solutions to heal the climate are in the natural world.

Why the Te Kahu o Taonui kaupapa is important

We can’t use the same thinking that got us into a crisis, to get out of a crisis. The environmental and climate problems that we face were caused by the industrial machine and consumerism. More of that won’t work, and tinkering with a failed system won’t help. As a Pākehā, learning more about mātauranga Māori has helped me to see the blind spots in Western ways of knowing. Te Tai Tokerau needs a strong unified Māori voice to overcome the challenges we face and transform how we do governance, community, and business.

E tu kahikatea Hei whakapae ururoa  
Awhi mai awhi atu tatou tatou e.

If you would like to korero about climate and taiao email peter@tkot.org.nz or phone 021 683 145.