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.