On the 7th of April, we conducted our 8th community-based workshop with Whakarongotai Marae in Waikanae. Maori representation from the local council, the hapu research unit, kaumatua, marae trustees and governance had in-depth conversations regarding the feasibility of an earthquake early warning system in Aotearoa New Zealand.
We were able to get everyone to introduce themselves with more personal details. Even the facilitators gave their own pepeha. We talked about where we came from, why we are doing this work and its purpose. The initial personal engagement enabled the participants to openly share their expectations and concerns in the discussions afterwards.
Since Waikanae is a coastal area, we heard similar ideas about integrating alerts with tsunami warnings which were also raised in our Gisborne and Orewa workshops. More specific expectations for approaching Maori communities were discussed in this workshop. We appreciate being able to hold the workshop with Whakarongotai Marae and planning to continue our engagement with the future activities of the research project.
So far, we have conducted 8 workshops as planned, even under impacts of the back-and-forth alert level changes due to COVID-19. The team celebrates the accomplishment of this milestone. A total number of 140 participants from diverse cultural and geographical background joined the 8 workshops. We appreciate everyone who supported us. And the next step for us will be to analyse the data. We look forward to sharing the findings.