On Saturday 12th of May, KIN’s fifth PhD candidate Dr Kiri Dell graduated with a doctorate in Management and International Business at the University of Auckland Māori graduation ceremony held at Waipapa Marae. Dr Kiri Dell in front of her friends, peers, and whānau, many of whom had traveled the dusty roads from Whareponga on the East Coast, gave a touching speech on gratitude and courage. She reminded many of us that “getting a PhD stretches you in every way possible that you think; intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and financially”. She proceeded to speak to the virtue of courage and the need of whānau (extended family and friends) support to develop that type of courage. In acknowledging her supervisors, parents, mentors, whānau and whenua (land-based roots), Dr Dell spoke to intellectual courage to think far and wide, and in so many cases naively until you thrive in giving and receiving critique; emotional courage to work through the many challenges along the journey; and personal courage to recognise your own academic potential. Amidst the heavy downpours of Māori graduation, crowds witnessed a rousing cultural display of karanga (ritual calls of acknowledgement), the Ngāti Porou women’s haka “Ka panapana” and a Ngā Tauira Māori haka. This fitting event marked the end of a KIN era and opened the doors for new light and opportunity. This story follows our previous blog KIN: 5 Doctors and a baby now what! Well this is what!
With the new dawn, the KIN blog whānau realised the potential of spreading the goodwill that our blog has generated over the past two and a half years and welcomes members of the Te Kupenga o MAI network into the fold as regular contributors. The Māori and Indigenous programme (MAI) is for the enhancement of Māori and Indigenous post-graduate students throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. This national network of key sites forms an integral part of Te Pae Whakatairanga Hiranga, the Capability Building programme of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM). In the expansion, Co-Director of NPM Professor Linda Nikora encouraged us to start with small steps, so we are starting with contributions on an eight week roster shared between regular KIN bloggers and those from MAI ki Aronui based out of (AUT), MAI ki Poneke based out of Victoria, and MAI ki Tamaki Makaurau. Each site believed that their Indigenous scholars would be keen to be a part of it. Mike from MAI ki Poneke saw benefits to the networking aspect of our sites working together and was happy to promote it. Jani from MAI ki Aronui saw the value in having an outlet for thoughts and ideas rather than students being stuck in their own head. Hinekura from MAI ki Tamaki Makaurau, said, “Tautokona rawatia! It would be excellent for MAI ki Tamaki whanau to make regular contributions. I definitely agree that KIN should be supported”.
The KIN blog whānau has expanded and we are all excited to see where the next phase of our journey takes us in terms of our KIN aims to support Indigenous Postgraduate students and PhD Candidates through their studies and after graduation. KIN blog provides our contributors an outlet for writing outside of their academic work, and creates space for poetry, prose and socio-cultural and political commentary on the events of the day; Indigenous content on any topic with a focus on empowerment, decolonising, transformation and education; and as a “koha” or contribution to our readers from all over the world. In saying this, our doors have always been open to anyone that would like to contribute. If you would like to contribute please contact us through our KIN WordPress website. May our new era be as fruitful as it has been so far.