A Masters thesis by Kristie-Lee Thomas (University of Canterbury) used a collaborative approach to investigate tsunami risk on the Chatham Islands. The purpose of the research was to deliver useful and usable outcomes that were derived for, with and by the Chatham Islands community.
During her thesis research, Kristie-Lee discovered information missing from historic tsunami databases, including that more fatalities had occurred than previously thought during a tsunami in 1868. The whānau who lost their lives during the 1868 tsunami were Ngāti Mutunga as are the Kaumatua who shared their Mātauranga in the research. Ngāti Mutunga also assisted in advertising for research participants. Therefore, it was very important to share the research results back to Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi.
With support from QuakeCoRE the project included returning to the Chatham Islands on 17 October 2019 to attend hui with local iwi to hand over the thesis results and to facilitate discussion around how people can increase their readiness and reduce future tsunami impact. The hui involved visiting wahi tapu (sacred sites, sites affected by the tsunami), kai at the marae, followed by a presentation and some discussion. Overall it was a successful hui, information was well received with lots of questions during throughout the day, positive feedback and even suggestions for community-led action.