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Te Tumu Research
Research at Otago in Māori, Pacific, and Indigenous Studies

Fingers Crossed for Marsden Second Round

Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden/Marsden Fund is one of the most prestigious opportunities for externally-funded research grants, and highly competitive.  The grants fund three-year research projects, as well as channel some income into the university.  The Marsden Fund operates as a two-stage process. Although the quality of all the initial applications (where the research idea is pitched) tends to be very high, most applicants do not get invited to submit a full proposal. In the Humanities Panel just 26.1% got through to the second round, and in Social Sciences it was 22.6%. At the second round successfully gaining a grant then becomes a (roughly) 50/50 chance.  So we can see, winning a Marsden is very hard, and getting through to the second round is worth acknowledging and celebrating.

It will now be an anxious time for our Te Tumu staff, Dr Lyn Carter and Dr Erica Newman, involved in preparing their full proposals.  

Dr Lyn Carter

Dr Lyn Carter is part of larger team led by Dr Pedersen Zari of Victoria University, with the project: Empowering Oceania Nature-based Urban Design: Knowledge sharing, Leadership and community Partnering in Climate Change Adaptation.  This is a “standard” Marsden application, i.e. submitted by experienced researchers, most often as a team.

Summary: Climate change impacts settlements of Oceania, including Aotearoa, in significant ways. ‘Nature-based solutions’ (NbS) have great potential to address these impacts. Incorporating traditional knowledge into NbS will offer more culturally appropriate and long-term solutions, however links to wellbeing agendas have not been fully explored. This research investigates how well being can be strategically linked to ecologies, and how this can be harnessed to create ecologically resilient ‘Ocean cities’. Research into how the human-nature-climate nexus can be leveraged to enhance the effectiveness of NbS will make a significant contribution to the urban climate adaptation research in Aotearoa, the Pacific, and globally.

Dr Erica Newman

Dr Erica Newman project is a “fast-start” application, which are for early career researchers, often working by themselves.  Her topic is: Journey Home: Descendants of Māori adoptees search for their tūrangawaewae.

Summary: Māori adoptees who have no knowledge of their Māori heritage pass the unknown to their descendants. Focusing on these descendants, this project will explore; how they identify with their taha Māori, avenues they have taken to connect to their taha Māori, and how they are accepted by their whānau and hapū. I will follow participants on their journey of discovery and will examine hapū membership eligibility. Oral narratives will be the primary base for this project with published and unpublished sources used to support and highlight issues the participants encounter. This will begin a new area of research that will highlight the issues of transracial adoption on identity and well-being for descendants of Māori adoptees in Aotearoa New Zealand. [Advisor: Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla.]

We all have our fingers crossed that Erica and Lyn’s projects make it through.

Seminar: He Matapihi ki te Ao Tuupuna

Te Tumu’s Research Committee is pleased to announce the resumption of its seminar series on Wednesday 20 May 2020, 2-3pm [NZ Time] with Dr Tangiwai Rewi and Taamirangi Sam-Turner presenting.  This research has emerged out of Tangiwai’s PhD, with Taamirangi researching the topic, on how to engage people in conducting their own whānau research, as a summer intern through Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.  For more details, see the Seminar Poster- Rewi & Sam-Turner (1)

Tangiwai Rewi & Taamirangi Sam-Turner

The presentation will be blingual (English and te reo Māori). All interested people are most welcome, including Te Tumu’s postgraduate students.

To attend, click here for the Zoom link; the password is 868657.

 

Te Tumu Research Under Lockdown

The Lockdown has proved hugely disruptive to all Te Tumu staff, impacting on all aspects of our academic lives, including research.  We now move from Lockdown to Level 3 – which so far doesn’t look too much different for us.  Despite this, we have still been managing to keep our research productivity going, hopefully with some “outputs” in the offing. 

To find out a little bit more, I sent out a request to staff to send in a few details on the highs and lows of their research during lockdown.

First, let’s talk about some of the problems.  Some staff talked of getting “zui’d out”, i.e. too many Zoom hui.  There’s been some research on how tiring Zoom meetings can be, and what with teaching online, staff and school meetings, supervision get-togethers, and other hui, it can seem like some days we are constantly on Zoom.  Then there’s the extra effort preparing for online teaching, especially in the reo classes where you need to convert the quick-flowing quick-changing interactive tasks into online teaching activities.

Then there are the events that have been cancelled or deferred, such as Poia Rewi’s  Māori language symposium that he had planned with the Government Department Collective, and Michelle Schaaf’s planned delivery of  Summary Report for ‘Childhood in a Changing Pacific’: Samoa and Dunedin to Pacific communities in Samoa and Dunedin.  Lachy Paterson had also been planning to kick off his upcoming research and Study Leave (RSL)with a couple of conferences in France, but these have both been cancelled.

Gianna’s little distraction, Rangiaho.

Then there’s working from home.  Three of our staff have young children also locked down with them, which creates its own complications. As Karyn says, she has also been “researching meal plans for a fussy eater and activities to keep a 13 month old entertained” – hard work when “food still refuses to get eaten and suggested activities don’t keep her attention for longer than 5 minutes!!” And one person complained (was it a complaint?) that “My new office space is far too close to the pantry”.

Karyn keeping Manuhou amused.

So if those were the lows, what were the highs?

Poia says he is pleased that Gianna Leoni and Tangiwai Rewi have come on board the Te Reo Me Ngā Tikanga Māori Platform for 2020 research, looking at the impacts of research by researchers under Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. Gianna is also feeling chuffed that she has finished a research proposal she had been needing to do for a few months – and having it accepted.

Tangiwai in her research nook.

Tangiwai, as Chair of the Te Tumu Research Committee, also organised a “Hot Tips” Zoom session with staff earlier this month, on how to enhance their applications for University of Otago Research Grants (UORGs).  We were really pleased to have the ebullient Humanities Associate Dean (Research), James Maclaurin there to share his knowledge with us.

Both Lachy and Tangiwai are on RSL next semester, so have been revising their travel, and research and writing plans, which has been difficult given that no one knows how long we will be in Level 3, or when normality will return.

Lachy’s man-cave

Lachy has been organising getting the proofs and indexing for a new edited collection on Indigneous textual cultures, which will hopefully be out in September. See here for more info He been working on the Te Hau Kāinga/Māori Home Front project, including translating the blog posts.  If you haven’t read the latest ones (in English or Māori) then check them out at the project website.  You can also listen to him and Angela Wanhalla promoting the project on Radio New Zealand’s Saturday Morning programme on Anzac Day:  Lachy has also been asked to submit an abstract for a chapter on Māori newspapers in The Edinburgh Companion to British Colonial Periodicals.

Michelle has been busy transcribing interviews,  sorting participants’ diaries and personal papers collected during her recent RSL, in preparation for UORG application. She is also part of a team who have just completed the Summary Report for Childhood in a Changing Pacific: Samoa and Dunedin. She has also been chosen to write a chapter for an e-book for Bridget Williams Books on “’Thesis Survivor Stories”, to be published in June.

Michelle in her home work space.

Megan Pōtiki is busy on finishing her thesis.  She recently published “Te hū o Moho: The call of the extinct Moho: The death of the Māori language at Ōtākou” which appeared in the latest issue of Te Pouhere Kōrero.

Lyn Carter has completed a journal article during the Lockdown, which she has sent off to a Sami journal. Otherwise, she says, she has been having lots of Zoom meetings with various research clusters around climate change and health/climate change and environment, including on her National Science Challenge projects, Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, and BioHeritage.

Building on her publishing success from last year, Telesia Kalavite, is currently writing a journal article for the New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies.  She is also one of the principal applicants for a successful grant application for Humanities Research Network with an amount of $10,000 for 2 years. The name of the project is: “Pacific Thought Network (PacTNetwork)”. Telesia is now developing an application for UORG grant to further her research.

Our newest staff member, Vaivaimalemalo Michael Ligaliga, has been very busy.  He has been developing a book proposal for Palgrave Macmillan based on his PhD thesis, as well as a UORG application.  Michael has also been working on a chapter on the Samoan perspective on addressing domestic or family violence for the Handbook of Positive Peace , and another for Decolonizing Indigenous Research Methodologies in Peace and Conflict Research.

Michael Reilly has been continuing his work, writing chapters about Māui Pōtiki, one on a Ruapuke Island narrative, and another looking at two stories by Mohi Ruatapu.  His aim is to incorporate these chapters into a book about Maori tribal traditions, perhaps with Auckland University Press, building on the kind of topics he has taught in his MAOR207 and INDV307.  Michael has also been asked to contribute a chapter on emotions in the Pacific and Australia for an edited book, The Routledge Modern History of Emotions.  

Perpetual hui on Zoom! Here Karyn and Manuhou are attending a board meeting for Te Rūnanga Māori of Ako Aotearoa.

The Lockdown has disrupted Karyn’s Marsden research, so she’s been busy working on a new plan, and catching up on some of her reading.  She has recently been published by Lancet Oncology. This came from an invitation to her and her collaborators to the International Gastric Cancer Linkage Consortium in Wānaka last year to share their research on updating the international practice guidelines for Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer. Karyn is currently working on the final draft of a book chapter she is co-writing with Marcelle Wharerau (ex-Te Tumu student, now teaching at Waikato University) on subversive pedagogies entitled, “Tūngia ki te marae, tau ana – culturally transformative learning in universities”.

Paerau Warbrick was enjoying his RSL when the Lockdown was imposed, focusing his research on historic Māori elections, and the lawsuits that often went with them.  He has just finished a draft article on the 1876 Eastern Maori election petition involving Hēnare Pōtae, Rōpata Wahawaha and Karaitaina Takamoana and the 1887 Northern Maori election petition involving Hirini Taiwhanga and Wī Kātene. Paerau is also working on an article on the monumental election battles between Wī Pere and James Carroll in the 1884, 1887 and 1890 elections, and making the finishing touches to another article regarding the UK Supreme Court and how it should take lessons from the NZ Court of Appeal Maori Council case of 1987 and the Foreshore and Seabed case of 2003.

Wherever you are, I hope you are all staying safe and keeping well, and being productive with your research (if that’s your thing).

First Te Tumu Seminar for 2020

Many people will remember Suzanne Duncan (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri), a former student, and lecturer at Te Tumu.  She left a few years ago to return to her rohe ā-iwi, the Far North, where she works in Kaitaia as Principal Strategist for Te Hiku Media.  Suz will be back in Dunedin next week with the General Manager, Peter-Lucas Jones (Ngāi Takoto, Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu); they are presenting the first of Te Tumu’s seminars this year on the amazing work being done at Te Hiku [see abstract below].

Where: Te Paparewa (RGS2 – ground floor of Te Tumu).

When: 3.30pm, Wednesday 4 March.

Te Hiku Media

Abstract: Te Hiku Media is a not-for-profit charitable trust belonging to the five iwi of the Far North, Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto, Ngāti Kahu and Te Rarawa. Founded as an iwi radio station in 1991, Te Hiku Media has grown as an iwi broadcaster to include regional news, the live streaming of nationally significant events, Māori language archiving and the development of natural language processing tools for the revitalisation of te reo Māori. This seminar will share the journey that has been led by their kaumātua and outline their recently awarded $13 million dollar data science project, Papa Reo.

 

Publishing award

Congratulations to Lyn Carter, the coordinator of our Indigenous Development Programme, for her recent article co-written with Janet Stephenson (Centre for Sustainability) and Claire Freeman (Geography) from Otago, and others in the journal Society & Natural Resources.

The article won the S & NR best publication award for 2019. Click on the link to read it: Hybrid Neoliberalism Implications for Sustainable Development

PhD Celebration

Raphael Richter-Gravier and his primary supervisor, Michael Reilly.

When possible, Te Tumu always likes to acknowledge our students’ completions of their PhDs with a morning or afternoon tea. Today was our opportunity to celebrate Raphael Richter-Gravier, who graduated last December. Given that his thesis investigated Polynesian bird narratives, it was fitting that Te Tumu gifted Raphael with a 2-dimensional metallic sculpture of a kārearea (NZ falcon).  His supervisor, Professor Michael Reilly, spoke about what a wonderful doctoral student Raphael was, one whose writing was stimulating and thoughtful, and didn’t need too much revising. Raphael also noted that his friend, Manu Berry has created a number of woodcuts inspired by the bird narratives, which are currently on exhibition at PC Gallery in Port Chalmers.  Raphael has been with Te Tumu for a number of years, as a student and tutor in Māori Studies.  He seems to have a lot of activities on his plate at present (including teaching French), and we wish him well for the future.

Te Hau Kāinga features in He Kitenga

Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla. Photo: Graham Warman [click to enlarge]


This year’s issue of He Kitenga is out, in which the University of Otago highlights some of its funded research.  The Marsden-funded Te Hau Kāinga: The Māori Home Front, led by Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla (History) and Professor Lachy Paterson (Te Tumu) is one of the features.  To read the online version of the article, click here.

He Kōrero Manu: Manu Narratives

This is perhaps the first time Te Tumu has featured in Spinoff, New Zealand’s pre-eminent online news service! Raphael Richter-Gravier recently completed a PhD thesis on bird narratives from Polynesia, that features in the article.  Raphael was supervised by Professor Michael Reilly and Dr Michelle Schaaf from Te Tumu, and also by Professor Bruno Saura from the University of French Polynesia. Click here to access the Spinoff article on Raphael’s thesis.  If you want to read the thesis, click here.

He whakamāori i te reo Kariki o neherā

Kia ora koutou.

For those of you into te reo Māori and translation, there is a plenary talk at the 2020 Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies on 31 January that might interest you.  This is a public event!

Associate Professor Simon Perris: Te Iriata and the Iliad: On translating Homer into Māori. 

Friday 31 January 2020, St David Lecture Theatre, 9am.

“This talk concerns a collaborative and creative research project being undertaken by myself and my colleague Dr Karena Kelly (Te Kawa a Māui, Victoria University of Wellington). This nascent project is intended to produce a translation of (some of) Homer’s Iliad into te reo Māori – into Te Iriata. As far as we know, this is the first-ever direct translation of a non-biblical ancient Greek text into Māori.

“In this talk, I will introduce the project, describe our working methods, survey some of the challenges Dr Kelly and I have encountered, and address some of the central methodological, linguistic, and other issues at stake; I will also share some specific sections of the work to date, and address more broadly the idea of a classical tradition in Māori translation.​”

See ClassicsConferencePoster for all three public events from this conference.

Neigbourly success, on a Pacific theme.

John Shaver of Religious Studies (centre, back) with friends in Fiji.

Earlier this year, due to move logistics within the Humanities Division, some Te Tumu staff had to shift rooms.  This led to our Pacific Island Studies team sharing the fourth floor with academics from the Religious Studies programme.  Te Tumu would like to congratulate one of our new neighbours, Dr John Shaver, for winning a Marsden Grant to undertake further research on religious practice in Fiji.

Click here to find out more about his project, “Investigating the impact of religion on cooperation and inequality in Fiji”.  We look forward to finding out more as his project progresses.