MAI ki Poneke decided to offer the opportunity for our doctoral students to attend the Te Kotahi Institute’s Symposium in Wellington last month. It was a fantastic opportunity for many reasons, including the chance to listen to a range of different Maori focused kaupapa presented by a group of outstanding Maori researchers. Other reasons included the reasonable cost for students and staff which supported accessibility, as well as being hosted at the beautiful Wharewaka on the edge of the Wellington Harbour. Four students and one of our coordinator’s attended the two day symposium, which was also attended by a range of government agencies all interested in positive Maori outcomes in our communities. Three of our students provided this feedback which represents the wonderful koha the team from Te Kotahi Institute provided our MAI ki Poneke whanau.
Te Mata Punenga o Te Kotahi Research Symposium was an insightful, re-energising and thought provoking experience. As a Māori Doctoral student, I found the kōrero given by the presenters and researchers very inspirational, which has widened the view of my current research to examine language, the environment and oral histories differently.
To me, the Te Kotahi Research Symposium was really like a ‘living literature review.’ I got to listen to a variety of presentations which all reflected Kaupapa Maori research approaches that were either leading to or had led to transformative pathways for Māori. Transformation was shown to be occurring throughout the process of research, and therefore Kaupapa Māori theory (KMT) was not just a theory but actually a practice that was lived and experienced by everyone involved in the study. The symposium showed me how using KMT can be used in different research contexts and how the learning that comes from those projects can have benefit for all Māori.
Affirming and provoking would be two words that captures To Kotahi Symposium for me. Affirming in the sense of hearing Maori researchers addressing issues relevant to Maori, using distinctively Maori methods was to witness Kaupapa Maori Research at its finest. Provoking in that there remain much to be done to be done to promote Maori well-being and address the wounds of historical trauma. We are very luck to have had Te Kotahi visit Poneke, inspired by the work they are doing.
Programme Director, Masters of Teaching & Learning (Primary)
MAI ki Poneke Co-cordinator
Pūkenga Matua / Senior Lecturer
Te Kura Māori, Faculty of Education
Te Whānau o Ako Pai
Victoria University of Wellington