Cycling Amongst Māori: Patterns, Influences, and Opportunities

Rhys Jones, Bruce Kidd, Kirsty Wild, and Alistair Woodward

University of Auckland

Investment in cycling infrastructure and promotion may be a potentially beneficial intervention for Māori. Previous research on Māori transport priorities has identified increasing active transport use, amongst tamariki (children) in particular, as a potentially important contribution to improving hauora Māori. Active transport projects are likely to be most valuable to Māori where they are designed in ways that enable Māori to maintain a cultural and spiritual connection to the urban physical environment.

Key Policy Implications:

  • Barriers to Māori cycling reflect systemic social, economic, & transport-related inequities that have become entrenched in Aotearoa as a result of colonisation & structural racism. Interventions must focus on addressing the conditions for cycling, rather than putting the onus on individuals to change behaviour, such as:
  • Addressing socio-economic inequities that lead Māori to experience less flexible employment and unsafe transport environments, both of which act as barriers to cycling
  • Designing cycling infrastructure that enables social cycling—in pairs, groups, and with whānau— thereby providing opportunities for whanaungatanga and social connection
  • Building opportunities for kaitiakitanga into cycling promotion and infrastructure design.

The desire for opportunities to “cycle together,” is actually a common preference amongst cyclists more generally. Thus, a Māori-centred approach to cycling planning could be beneficial in improving the rates of cycling across many groups.

The New Zealand Financial Cycle

Caitlin Davies & Prasanna Gai, University of Auckland

The global financial crisis has renewed interest in understanding financial cycles and their implications for the real economy. The resulting international debate has had important consequences for policy design in financial stability policy – for example, policymakers have increasingly sought to implement macroprudential instruments in an effort to ‘fine-tune’ the financial cycle.

Financial stability risks and inflation of the property market have increased substantially following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. This research reflects the level of risk that unsustainable house prices and the spike in monetary stimulus injected over the course of the pandemic could pose for a recovery in growth for New Zealand economy.

Key Policy Implications:

  • US monetary policy and financial conditions spill over to other countries, including to countries with floating exchange rates such as New Zealand
  • Macroprudential policies or capital controls may therefore play an important role, in concert with floating exchange rates, in helping insulate small open economies from global financial shocks
  • Greater financial integration may be beneficial – by facilitating better risk sharing opportunities, greater capital market integration may serve to safeguard the economy from the ebb and flow of shifting global risk appetite

Belonging at School in New Zealand: Do Gender and Ethnic Racial Identity Matter?

Penelope W. St J. Watson, Mohamed Alansari, Frank C. Worrell & Christine M. Rubie‐Davies

University of Auckland, NZCER & University of California, Berkeley

Attitudes toward ethnic and racial identity have been linked to both wellbeing and maladaptive outcomes that affect belonging at school. Affirmative feelings towards school have resulted in positive subjective wellbeing and more optimistic thoughts of the future. Further, improved academic achievement and fewer negative behaviours, such as discipline issues, truancy, and dropping out have been associated with students’ liking for school. Are there statistically significant and meaningful differences in the relationship among ethnic-racial identity profiles on three school belonging variables, or statistically significant and meaningful differences by gender among each of the ethnic-racial identity profiles and in the relationships within the profiles and school belonging variables?

Key Policy Implications:

  • These findings endorse the idea that belonging to at least one ethnic-racial group buffers against maladaptive relatedness attitudes, and that this scenario is amplified by association with further ethnic-racial identities and acceptance of multiple cultural outlooks
  • Given New Zealand boys’ persisting underachievement, and the potential impact of ability-based stereotype threat for Māori students, educational strategies aimed at supporting the engagement of Māori boys at risk of falling into in the Low Race Salience group, seem particularly warranted.

Pathway modelling to optimise long-term policy impact in New Zealand

Michael O’Sullivan, Suzanne Woodward, Jennifer Curtin, University of Auckland

Wicked problems are described as “inherently intractable late-industrial problems associated with modern social planning” (Farrell, 2011). They include many of the problems faced by New Zealand society today, including how to reduce homelessness and inequity, and ways to mitigate the impact of damp social housing. To tackle wicked problems, transdisciplinary approaches that provide evidence-informed cross-sector policy are needed.

Key recommendations:

  • Co-design should be an integral part of policy modelling
  • Use narratives and linked data to identify social trajectories
  • Examine how current policy identifies social pathways
  • Model the interaction between trajectories and pathways, with a focus on (potential) turning points
  • Overlay wellbeing measures to enable comprehensive policy evaluation
  • Evaluate current and (potential) future policy to find high impact combinations

Realising Urban Sustainability: A collective case study of slippages between principles, policies, and practices in masterplanning

Alasdair Jones, University of Auckland, Susan Parham, University of Hertfordshire

In both urban research and urban development practice there is a growing interest in the incorporation of principles of environmental sustainability in urban design.  This is the case for masterplanning practice, or the strategic framework and process for developing or regenerating a (typically urban) site.  Masterplanning has been identified as a critical tool for both private and public sector-led housing delivery, but recent analysis suggests that the quality of design achieved varies considerably from place to place.

As with the development of strategic visions in other policy domains, in the field of masterplanning, implementation issues can be a key source of disconnects between what is planned for, and what is realised at, a given site.  Despite this, there has been a notable lack of implementation-oriented research in urban planning.  In our research we seek to help address this gap through an exploration of where the slippages between masterplanning principles, policies and practices occur.  In turn, we posit how masterplanning might be approached differently to reduce such slippages and to mitigate their detrimental effects on realising environmental sustainability objectives.

Key Recommendations:

  • Undertake research into the impact of statutory withdrawal from (UK), or variation in (Australia), urban design guidance and regulation
  • Consolidating available materials to influence and guide masterplanning, including tools like urban design coding in them, will help to reinstate sustainable urbanism principles
  • To achieve sustainability outcomes, develop a distinctively urbanist masterplanning typology that corresponds directly to principles of sustainable urbanism
  • Develop ways to better balance ‘market realities’ that foreground housing delivery (such as ‘buildability’) with wider sustainable urbanism principles
  • Experiment with innovative ways of activating sustainable urbanism at the implementation stage, e.g. through strategic planning processes, community and stakeholder engagement processes, and environmental management techniques, to negate and address some of the sorts of slippages we identified

This research was conducted through the UH-Tarmac Sustainable Living Partnership at the University of Hertfordshire (PI: Dr Susan Parham)

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