The Connecting theme connects people, ecosystems and climate change-related problems at multiple levels and across space and time. This theme draws on different knowledge systems, research disciplines, academic and practical skills, and cultural traditions.  

The Connecting theme explores the changing cultural, economic and spiritual relationships between coastal communities and the marine environment, and how these connections contribute to long-term well-being. This theme engages in that space where knowledge, people and place intersect; a multidimensional space that spans time and place.  

In the wake of the climate crisis, accelerated change in the marine environment poses an imminent threat to the wellbeing of coastal communities who depend on the important interaction and connection to their marine environments. In New Zealand and across the Pacific, coastal communities interact with coastal ecosystems through the lens of diverse knowledge systems and differing cultural traditions and practices. Importantly, connectivity seeks purposeful action arising from the juxtaposition of intellectual, cultural and ideological diversity. 

Co-leaders of the Connecting platform theme

Dr Karen Greig
(Southern Pacific Archaeological Research, University of Otago)
Dr Naomi Simmonds
(Geography and Environmental Planning, University of Waikato)
Dr Will Rayment
(Department of Marine Science, University of Otago)

Connecting to coastal spaces

connecting to our coastal heritage places & connecting to our coastal seas  

Connecting to the 'distant'

cultural practices of the marine environment, building waka: building connection, the voyages of parāoa

Connecting through collaborative community action

youth-based mahinga kai and climate camps that merge the past, present and future of food sovereignty, social arts practice with coastal communities in New Zealand and the South Pacific 

Parāroa of the South Pacific

Project Leader(s) Dr Will Rayment (UoO)  Project Team Dr Alana Alexander   This project will highlight the connections among populations of parāoa (sperm whales) within Aotearoa

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The focus is on the changes resulting from ocean warming and acidification, sea-level rise, and climate change. Research includes responding to the decline in culture, local economy, and well-being of coastal people in New Zealand and across the Pacific.

Coastal people: Southern Skies