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There is an increasing recognition of the value of community-led initiatives that facilitate emergency management, risk reduction and community resilience within the disaster response and research sectors. However, the value of cultural approaches to disaster management and recovery is rarely acknowledged. The Māori disaster management response to the Christchurch earthquakes and subsequent urban recovery process provides an exemplar of best practice. This study gives an overview of the Māori emergency response, including perceived hindrances. Furthermore, recommendations are proposed for adapting and implementing the Māori technologies as a component of integrated disaster risk reduction at the local, national and international levels.