Climate Change and the Right to Health for Māori in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Climate change is widely regarded as one of the most serious global health threats of the 21st century. Its impacts will be disproportionately borne by the most disadvantaged populations, including indigenous peoples. For Māori in Aotearoa/New Zealand, as with other indigenous peoples worldwide, colonization has led to dispossession of land, destabilization of cultural foundations, and social, economic, and political marginalization. Climate change threatens to exacerbate these processes, adding future insult to historical and contemporary injury. Yet the challenges posed by climate change are accompanied by considerable opportunities to advance indigenous rights and reduce health disparities. In this paper, we examine issues related to climate change and Māori health using a right to health analytical framework, which identifies obligations for the New Zealand government.

 
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