Erica Newman‘s Marsden funded research on the descendants of Māori who were adopted into Pākehā families is continuing to attract attention in the Māori media. Recently she was interviewed by Māori TV, with an accompanying story in Stuff. Click here to access these. She also features in Te Karaka, the Ngāi Tahu magazine. Click on TE-KARAKA-88 (1) to access the magazine (a great read!): the story featuring Erica’s research, and her family history are on pages 38-41.
Paerau Warbrick has always been interested in politics, and his own academic research delves into the some of the lives and contests of historical Māori politicians. Paerau is also always happy to chat and give his opinion on what’s happening now. A couple of days ago, he wrote an opinion piece on National’s use of race as a political tool for E-Tangata. This explores more recent and current National Party leaders and how they did (or could) play the “race card” to their best advantage. Not everyone will necessarily agree with Paerau, but his piece will make you think.
Poia Rewi (Ngāti Manawa, Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whare and Tūwharetoa) was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago in 2003. Previously he had been a Māori Studies academic at the University of Waikato from 1992. In 2016 he was promoted to professor. He ended his service at Te Tumu in mid-2020 in July 2020 when he took up the role of Chief Executive/Tumu Whakarae of Te Mātāwai, a government organisation established under Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori 2016/The Māori Language Act 2016, to foster and support Māori language development for iwi.
Although the honour of professor emeritus is normally awarded to professors retiring from academia, the University’s Policy for the Award of the Title of Emeritus Professor allows the title to be made to a Professor who resigns, for example, to take up a distinguished public position. Poia’s illustrious academic career (discussed below) and his leadership within Te Tumu and the university induced Professor Michael Reilly and other Te Tumu colleagues to seek this honour for our recently departed Dean.
Speaking to the Otago Bulletin Board on Poia’s departure in July last year, Professor Reilly described Poia as a “deeply humble, modest man who believes that it is for others to speak of the kumara’s sweetness.”
“His abiding passion is always first and last, te reo Māori. He advocates for its use by all New Zealanders. In his teaching and writing he always encourages his students and others to seek out and to utilise the rich diversity of language forms that the reo has inherited from the ancestors.”
“In Te Tumu Poia was generous with his time and showed hospitality to all. He became well known for volunteering to work in the kitchen, always concerned to ensure visitors, staff and students had plenty of food; a mark of the true leader, one who always thought of the well-being of others.”
Poia places much value on the importance of teaching the new generation, and work within the community. The growing success of his postgraduate students attests to his influence, and in 2012 he received the Otago University Students’ Association Supervisor of the Year Award. His knowledge of the reo and Māori performing arts resulted in him being appointed a judge at many regional Māori-language speaking competitions as well as being a judge at national, regional and tribal Māori performing arts competitions (adult/senior and high school levels).
Te Reo Māori has always been his passion. In 1997 he received a certificate as a translator and interpreter of te reo Māori from Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori/The Māori Language Commission. This is an exceedingly hard qualification to attain and demonstrates his high level of proficiency in the Māori language. In 2005 Poia completed the first PhD solely in Te Reo Māori at the University of Otago. It was a study of whaikōrero or Māori oratory through the words of a group of some 30 respected elders, many of them highly regarded orators on the marae throughout the country.
Subsequently, he revised and translated the thesis into English for publication as Whaikōrero: The World of Māori Oratory, published by Auckland University Press in 2010. This book was the first major publication to study this major Māori art form. In 2011 it was awarded the New Zealand Society of Authors – E. H. McCormick Best First Book Award for Non-Fiction. Later, it became the basis for a 12 part Māori Television documentary, ‘Whaikōrero’, which won the Broadcasting-Māori medium category in Ngā Tohu Reo Māori 2014/the Māori Language Awards 2014.
As a researcher his dominant focus has been Te Reo Māori and the associated performing arts. As a teacher of the reo to second language learners he has always been interested in the revitalisation of the reo and this became the centre of his research in more recent years. In 2010 he was a lead investigator for two major grants from Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, a national Centre of Excellence: ‘He Iho Reo, Developing a toolbox to support Māori Language Transmission and Maintenance’ ($226,439), and ‘Te Pae Tawhiti: “Te Kura Roa,”’ a jointly commissioned research project with Rāwinia Higgins of Victoria University of Wellington ($1,500,000). A number of reports and publications were generated from these grants including
- Day, D & Rewi, P., ‘Te Kura Roa wānanga wawata: Inter-department Specific- enablers/inhibitors’, 2013. Twelve individualised reports distributed to each of the 12 participating Government departments, approximately 667 pages.
- Higgins, R., Rewi, P., Olsen–Reeder, V. (eds.), The Value of the Māori Language: Te Hua O Te Reo Māori, Wellington: Huia Publishers, 2014,
- Day, D., Rewi, P. & Higgins, R. (eds.), The Journeys of Besieged Languages, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.
Further to his academic pursuits, Poia has been a prolific writer of Māori narrative over the years manifesting in published works as haka compositions, waiata, Māori language plays, fiction and nonfiction. This has resulted in several texts published in the Pikihuia short stories series. Poia himself has also adjudicated the Pikihuia Māori writers’ awards for a number of years. His most recent writing accolade was acknowledged in 2020 for a te reo Māori text.
Poia has completed 86 outputs, as shown in the summary on the left.
Poia served as Dean of Te Tumu between 2015 and 2020. Another significant leadership role at Otago was as Associate Dean Māori, Division of Humanities, 2012-2014. He was also Deputy Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, a national Centre of Research Excellence, between 2018-2020.
His recognition as a leader in the Māori world was evidenced by his service as Acting Chief Executive of Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori/The Māori Language Commission from 2014-2015. He was also a member of the Commission’s Board between 2012-2015. This outstanding service within, but also outside the university, helped pave the way to his new role at Te Mātāwai. Poia was elected in 2021 as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi, “celebrated as one of the most active research specialists in Māori culture, language revitalisation, oral history and performing arts.” Yet, due to his modesty, even some of his Te Tumu colleagues had no idea of the extent of his scholarship.
Poia Rewi always said when he first came down to Otago 18 years ago he had only wanted to stay for a few years before heading back up to the North Island. We knew that he was only on loan to us, and it was an honour to have him for the time that that we did. E hoa, me kore ake koe hei ārahi i a mātou, arā, i ō hoa mahi o Te Tumu me te whare wānanga, i te ao Māori kei waho o te whare wānanga, me ngā tini tāngata e kimi ana, e whakaū ana, e whakapiki ana i te reo Māori.
[Thanks to Professor Michael Reilly and Dr Tangiwai Rewi for information for this post.]
Well, it’s been a weird year for everyone, and the coronavirus certainly made our work harder, with a lot of our energy going into making sure we were able to still offer quality teaching to our students. We have also had a number of staff move on to greener pastures: Jim Williams and Lyn Carter retired; Gianna Leoni left us to take up a research role with Te Hiku (where former colleague Suzanne Duncan also works); Megan Pōtiki has shifted to the Office of Māori Development in the university; and Poia Rewi has taken up the Tumu Whakarae (CEO) position at Te Mātāwai. So we are expecting to see a bunch of fresh faces in the new year.
Research has still carried on. As the Chair of our Research Committee, Michelle Schaaf says, “Despite Covid, the retirement and departure of staff; the research committee’s commitment to building a successful research culture continues and owes its success to the oversight and guidance provided by senior staff directly. The committee continues to monitor staff research activity and promotes staff research through various mediums: research website long running and informative Research Blog.”
We also asked staff to tell us about their research, and what they’ve been up to. Here are their replies.
Karyn Paringatai’s Marsden
Karyn is lead investigator on the Marsden project: E kore au e ngaro! The enduring legacy of whakapapa (awarded $823,000), which looks at the importance of whakapapa in health, in particular to whānau that carry the cancer-causing hereditary mutation in the CDH1 gene.
2020 started with good intentions to advance my Marsden research with a lot of face-to-face engagement sessions planned, but those plans fizzled quickly during the March-April lockdown. But things have picked up during the second half of the year with a lot of gusto. In September I met with Maybelle McLeod, Pauline Harawira and Erin Gardiner from Kimihauora Health and Research Centre in Tauranga to co-develop a research topic for future PhD student, Kahurangi Salu. Pauline and Maybelle were two of the four lead investigators of the research project that discovered the CDH1 gene mutation. A conversation with Pauline went as follows:
Pauline: “My mother was from Hicks Bay.”
Me: “Oh wow.”
Pauline: “Yeah her younger brother, we called him Uncle Boy, his first name was Manuhou. His middle name was Paringatai. He was named after that koroua that died in the war.”
FUN FACT: My whānau are based just over the hill from Hick’s Bay. My daughter is called Manuhou Paringatai. She was named after that same koroua who died in the war, my grandfather’s first cousin. Whakawhanaungatanga – well and truly achieved.
This meeting coincided with a wider whānau hui. It was an opportunity to speak to whānau, canvas opinions, make connections, and recruit participants. The concerns they expressed were echoed in my research objectives. As a result I have been involved in developing a post-surgery nutrition research project and a funding proposal for a Kaihautū – someone who will help develop a pre- and post-surgery management care plan that takes in to account Māori realities. Watch this space……
Michelle Schaaf’s research
The Covid pandemic really pushed me to think of what the different ways are, that I could have students demonstrate what they know. There’s been a lot of me letting go of control, to try and build resilient and more-independent students. Teaching remotely also made me look at my own course content with fresh eyes. In terms of my research, I was forced to be adaptable, and implement strategies to mitigate the long-term impact of research disruptions.
UORG: “Childhood in a changing Pacific”
Freeman, R.M. Schaff, C. Ergler, M. Kivalu, A. Niusulu, T. Tua’a and H. Tanielu, Childhood in Changing Pacific’ Summary Research Report August 2020, (Summary Research Report), Dunedin: School of Geography, University of Otago.
Childhood in Changing Pacific’ Summary Research Report Presentation and Exhibition. 10 November 2020. This was a report presentation to participants and their families, in Dunedin and Samoa, on campus and via zoom platform. See here for more.
“Kinship and belonging: Pacific children’s perspectives on the diaspora” to the Childhood Journal.
“Connections to community and culture, a photographic analysis of place attachment amongst Pacific Island children” submitted to Children’s Geographies.
Telesia Kalavite’s latest article
Telesia has recently published an article, “Toungāue cooperative pedagogy for Tongan tertiary students’ success” in the Waikato Journal of Education, 25, 1 (2020). You can read it here.Toungāue cooperative pedagogy
Cooperative Pedagogy specific to Tongans can enhance students’ academic success in New Zealand’s tertiary education. Tongan students’ success depends on teachers’ recognition and understanding of Tongan students’ sociocultural context which involves their pule‘anga (bureaucracy), famili/kāinga (family), siasi (church) and fonua (country) relationships. Tongan students should not be treated within the Pacific groupings because ‘Pacific’ is a term of convenience for peoples who originate from different countries in the Pacific region whose cultures are uniquely different from one another. The term ‘Pacific’ tends to make these students live in the shadow of being treated as if they have the same needs in the classroom. The culturally specific needs of Pacific students are obscured by the assumption that they are homogenous. Academics and educational authorities in New Zealand need to recognise the importance of Pacific students’ culturally specific needs in their educational environments to move towards solving the problems of underachievement. This article explores the use of a culturally specific Tongan Toungāue Cooperative Pedagogy for teaching Tongan students in New Zealand tertiary education. Toungāue Cooperative Pedagogy is rooted in Tongan students’ sociocultural context which is at the heart of the Tongan society. More importantly, this proposed Toungāue Cooperative Pedagogy is transferable and could also be beneficial to other Pacific and Indigenous cultures.
Toungāue cooperative pedagogy; Tonga tertiary students’ success; Pacific diversity; Pacific ethnic special needs.
Tangiwai Rewi’s projects.
Most of the research related mahi I have been consumed by since 1 July has involved the 0.2 FTE Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga co-management of the Te Pāpanga Te Reo Māori, Ngā Tikanga Māori (TRMNTM) mahi along with Dr Gianna Leoni with the departure of Professor Poia Rewi. The list includes:
- Running a Te Kōrerorero a Ngā Tumu Whakarae webinar hosted on the last day of Māori Language week 18 September 2020 to encourage eight CEO’s to share their ideas about working together for te reo Māori research under Te Papa Kōrero. The purpose of Te Papa Kōrero is to provide coordination and leadership for the implementation of both Maihi (Maihi Māori and Maihi Karauna) in respect of the Māori language strategy. We managed a 50% success rate by confirming Shane Taurima (Māori Television), Larry Parr (Te Māngai Pāho), Dr Poia Rewi (Te Mātāwai) and Ngahiwi Apanui (Te Taurawhiri) to participate in the session facilitated by Dr Gianna Leoni and myself (from Te Tumu at the University of Otago), in our roles as the NPM Co-Managers of Te Reo & Ngā Tikanga Māori Platform. We aim to invite the other four Chief Executives of Te Puni Kōkiri; the Ministry of Education; the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Department of Internal Affairs, who were unavailable on this occasion, to join another webinar at a later date.
- N03 Project Te Reo me ngā Tikanga Māori – Named Scholarship – Professor Wharehuia Milroy; Understanding, articulating and measuring the language shift at the micro-level As part of the Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga Summer Internship Projects 2020-21 we were asked to develop, organise and then manage and supervise this named scholarship to recognise the scholarship and leadership of the late Te Wharehuia Milroy to the revitalisation and normalisation te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. In doing so, the intern will review and develop an understanding of Milroy’s research and scholarship, that is specific to te reo Māori normalisation and excellence. Dr Gianna Leoni will be the NPM Investigator who will work alongside Ria Tomoana (Kaiwhakahaere Rangahau – Te Mātāwai) to supervise the student.
- The third project we have been doing is our Collectivising Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Publications which we presented on at the 9th Biennial International Indigenous Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga (NPOTM) conference online 18-20 November. In three phases, the first produced punchy, attention grabbing abstracts summarising the articles.The second attributes keywords to the articles along with word clouds. To ensure accessibility after these two phases, the third phase thematicises the lists so that any person wanting to know what articles are published in each issue can search via content themes. Phase 1 comes to an end this year while phases 2 and 3 will look at completion by end of April 2021.
On a personal research note:
- I continue to push through with my Tuupuna Times research project holding wānanga for whānau and hapū on request, on how to collect stories from their tuupuna.
- My research plan for RSL is a little off beam given the attention to the Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga workload. However, the next two months will be busy getting that back on track, assisted gratefully by the Te Koronga continued funding support of $5000 development grant this year and recent success with my UORG application He Whakapakari Ake i Te Tuakiri Maaori of $11, 434 which takes effect 1 January 2021.
- I contributed a Māori perspective to a paper, Ko tā te Māori aronga ki te whakamātao kikiri. A Māori perspective on embryo cryopreservation, which is currently being reviewed by the lead author.
- I still have two articles to complete by the start of next year!
What is Michael Reilly doing?
Since 2019 I have off and on been working on a Māori tribal history manuscript. It currently is organised around the chief themes of tribal traditions: creation, culture heroes, the waka migrations, and the stories about the many generations of descendants who settled and populated this new country. The latter extends over a wide range of topics such as rangatiratanga or leadership; mana wāhine, mana tāne or gender relationships; and possibly, the place of emotion words such as whakamā, or shame, and pōuri, or grief. Each chapter is organised around a selection of traditions on the topic from different iwi. Attention is paid to southern traditions where possible. These traditions are normally taken from published sources, often collections of traditions with a limited analysis or explanation of the content of the narratives.
My aim is to provide the cultural context of these stories in order to help the modern reader understand the layers of meaning found within each text. This often involves an immersion in older ethnographic works by the likes of Elsdon Best, Te Rangihīroa and Raymond Firth who put on record information shared with them by generations of Māori scholars. By locating the texts within this ethnographic record, I can better peel back the layers of meaning found in each of the stories. To me, it opens a window upon that ancient world of the ancestors, Te Ao Kōhatu, the Stone World, as Bruce Biggs once described it. This approach resembles the kind of work I have been pursuing for some years, both in Aotearoa and in the wider world of Ancient East Polynesia, notably Mangaia.
Behind this approach lies an influential model: Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. He began writing it while in exile as a German Jew teaching in Turkey during the Second World War. Each of his chapters selects a passage from an author, from Homer through to Virginia Woolf. He uses each of them to explore ideas about how Western literature has sought to represent the world. His aims differ from mine but some of his methods have encouraged me to try and explore the totality of Māori traditions from its beginnings in time down perhaps as far as the edgy beginnings of modern Aotearoa, ending however, in the early nineteenth century when Māori understandings of their world remained dominant. For it is their story after all I am interested in.
More recently, I have initiated other smaller projects after approaches to provide publications either for edited books or journals. One looks at emotions in Oceania, drawing on selected texts from particular Island societies, including Mangaia and Aotearoa, that illustrate important concepts such as love, shame and grief. I am also interested in comparing the different words used to describe the human organ or centre of emotions, such as ngākau and manawa.
Currently, with the help of a research assistant, Jade Higgan McCaughan, I am examining evidence found in the songs published in the four volumes of Ngā Mōteatea, edited by Apirana Ngata and other scholars. Another project was prompted by plans to celebrate the coming of the London Missionary Society to the Cook Islands. I decided to look at some letters by a 19th century Mangaian church minister, Mamae. In one he describes his experience of a hurricane, while in others he gently criticises the editing of local texts by his colleague, William Wyatt Gill; an interesting case of the native speaking back. We see Mamae as a skilled writer who is actively participating not only in the recording of traditions, but also in how it is presented in published form. These kinds of letters give a window into the work and contributions of an important early scholar and missionary whose name, however, is far less well known that Gill’s, for it is the latter’s name that appears on the title pages of the ethnographic studies these two men collaborated in producing.
All this work takes place in the small intervals of relative calm permitted to me when I am not busy either teaching or discharging the responsibilities of Acting Dean of Te Tumu, a role bequeathed to me by Poia Rewi on his departure for Te Mātāwai in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Erica Newman’s exciting new project
Erica is lead investigator in a new fast-start Marsden project beginning in 2021: Journey Home: Descendants of Maori adoptees search for their turangawaewae. Only researchers who have recently completed their PhDs are eligible to apply for a Fast Start Marsden grants.
This research will investigate the ripple effects of the 1955 Adoption Act from which some Māori adoptees grow up not knowing their whakapapa, and look at the journeys that some of their descendants undertake in the search for their tūrangawaewae. Erica’s project has already attracted quite a bit of media attention, on te aka kumara, and waatea news, which is useful for getting the project out there to the descendants who may want to make contact with Erica. There is also a closed Facebook page just started, “Descendants of Māori Adoptees”, a safe space for these descendants to ask questions, share stories and support each other.
Erica was also asked to come on the team of the Marsden-funded project, Te Hau Kāinga: Histories and Legacies of the Māori Home Front, 1939-45, to contribute research on tikanga, whānau and adoption
Erica teaches in some large classes, and says that she found challenging converting on-campus papers to on-line. “This year has been quite draining with covid, and the future is a little unsettling when thinking about teaching, not knowing whether we will (or won’t) go into more lockdowns next semester.” But she is keenly looking forward to getting into her research.
Dr Paerau Warbrick’s goings on
In terms of research this year, I have been beavering away at articles.
Recently I have had an article accepted by the Australia & New Zealand Law & History journal, which will be published later in 2021. It is on Māori and Citizenship. And it takes a look at what this phrase ‘citizenship’ meant for Māori up until the 1950s.
My research is taking on a distinctly historical political flavour, on the heels of my 2019 article in the New Zealand Journal of History about Māori elections in the nineteenth century.
I have finished a chapter for a book edited by Lachy Paterson, myself and Megan Pōtiki on Māori texts, contexts, and their resonances for today. This chapter looked at Hēnare Tomoana, MP for Eastern Māori 1879-1884, and his pivotal role in the fall of George Grey’s Government in 1879.
Recently I submitted an article to the Journal of New Zealand Studies. It looks at the two Māori Election Petitions that try to unseat the MPs Karaitiana Takamoana (Eastern Māori) in 1876 and Hone Mohi Tāwhai (Northern Māori) in 1879. In order to understand these petitions, you really have to come to grips with the complex wider political machinations of the Fox, Vogel and Donald McLean political blocs, and the George Grey and John Hall group of MPs in Parliament.
Currently, I am working on an article for the Journal of Polynesian Society on the monumental election battles between Wi Pere and James Carroll over the Eastern Māori seat between 1884-1890. It is an attempt at historical psephology where I use fragmented polling booth data to uncover complexities in the Māori communities in the Eastern Māori election. I am looking at submitting this to the journal by mid-December 2020 or more realistically late January 2021.
This past year has definitely been a challenge for everyone. I wish everyone a safe and reflective Christmas and New Years. Mauri ora koutou.
Lachy Paterson’s doings
Lachy is lead investigator, with Angela Wanhalla (History) on the Marsden-funded project: Te Hau Kāinga: Histories and Legacies of the Māori Home Front, 1939-45, looking at what life was like for Māori in New Zealand during the Second World War, and how these experiences shaped Māori society in the years following the war. He is currently on RSL.
This project incorporates a large team. Alongside Angela Wanhalla and I, we have Erica Newman (as discussed above) as research associate, and five research assistants (one of whom is based in Wellington, and another in Auckland). We’ve also two excellent student researchers, Hannah Barlow and Stacey Fraser, both history post-graduates with research aligning with our project. It’s also been wonderful to be able to fund Māori summer scholarship students, with three who undertook projects last summer. Due to the travel restrictions, we have been unable to go to several overseas conferences, so redirected some of those funds into more summer scholarships. This summer we have six young Māori students (two partially funded through the Humanities Māori Summer Bursaries) who have just started their projects.
A key tool for our project is the Te Hau Kāinga website, which is fully bilingual. The site features a Stories page where we are posting research as we go along. It’s a bit eclectic, but definitely worth a read. The stories are also circulated to Facebook pages: our own FB page @maorihiomefront, the NZ History Teachers page, and the Māori-language versions onto the Te Mana o te Reo Maori page.
I have been fortunate to see a couple of publications appear this year. Indigenous Textual Cultures: Reading and Writing in the Age of Global Empire was recently published with Duke University Press, 2020. This project came out of a 2014 symposium in Dunedin featuring a number of eminent international scholars, and Tony Ballanyne, Angela Wanhalla and I co-edited the collection of essays that came out of the symposium.
Sometimes things take time. I attended a symposium on colonial newspapers at Yale University in 2017, looking at the notion of Habermas’s “public sphere” within colonial societies, presenting on Wellington Māori letters in Te Karere o Poneke in the 1850s. This was recently published as “Te Karere o Poneke: Creating an Indigenous Discursive Space?” in “Special Issue: Colonial Public Spheres and the Worlds of Print”, Itinerario: Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions,44, 2 (2020) edited by Emma Hunter and Leslie James.
My argument is that if you used the conditions of the Habermasian model of a public sphere (a rather Eurocentric theory) it was difficult to apply to Māori of the Wellington period in the 1850s. They were not urban, bourgeois, or anti-clerical, nor in control of the media. But the impact of colonialism nevertheless gave them new ways of looking at the world, and that this newspaper gave plenty of scope for them to articulate them.
I have also submitted a chapter, “Race and Revolution: Haiti and the Kīngitanga, 1863” for a new book, edited by Lyndall Ryan and Angela Wanhalla, on Aftermaths: Remembering Colonial Violence in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific. This should appear with Otago University Press in 2021. I was also asked to contribute a case study for the planned Edinburgh Companion to British Colonial Periodicals, and have written (but not yet submitted) a piece entitled, “Making Māori citizens in Colonial New Zealand: the Role of Government Niupepa.” I anticipate this coming out in 2022 with Edinburgh University Press.
Another project is to write a book on Māori print culture, from the first book in 1815 through to the present. I have pretty much written a draft, but this needs some extra work and refinement. And as Paerau mentioned above, he, Megan Pōtiki and I have a planned edited collection on Māori-language texts that we plan to get on to when we have a spare breath.
Regular readers of this blog will know of Karyn Paringatai’s research work. Not only is she an award-winning teacher, an advanced te reo Māori practitioner, and kapa haka aficionado, but she is also undertaking Marsden-funded research on Māori and gastric cancer in collaboration with Professor Parry Guilford of the university’s Centre for Translation Cancer Research. What follows is an update of this research, and some media links for those wanting more information.
Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC): updated clinical practice guidelines
Māori are three times more likely to develop stomach cancer than people of European descent. Māori are one of the few populations worldwide where diffuse-type gastric cancer is more common than intestinal-type stomach cancer. Diffuse gastric cancer is an aggresive type of cancer that grows rapidly in the cells of the stomach wall – it does not form a mass or a tumour. These cancer cells spread widely and quickly and it makes it difficult to diagnose. The reasons for this high occurrence of diffuse stomach cancer are unclear but a relatively high frequency of the inherited CDH1 variants in the Māori population is one important reason. When working properly the CDH1 gene controls the growth of cells. But because it has mutated it allows cells to grow uncontrollably – including cancer cells. This genetic mutation is particularly prevalent amongst Māori, but many are unaware of the risk.
When Dr Karyn Paringatai was tested for a CDH1 variant 11 years there were only 3-4 Māori whānau with mutations in this particular gene. That number has since increased to between 12-15 Māori whānau. This prompted researchers and health professionals working in this area and affected whānau and families from all around the world to gather in Wānaka in March 2019 to update the previous management guidelines for HDGC published in 2015. A number of important new and revised recommendations are made in these updated guidelines, which was recently published by Lancet Oncology. However, most pertinent to Māori was that the whānau of any Māori person who has been diagnosed with diffuse stomach cancer be encouraged to have a genetic test, regardless of any other family history. Previously, the guidelines were largely based around the number of cases of this cancer in a family. 11 years ago Karyn had to fight to be tested and prove that she was at risk of HDGC, which was tough to do with her scant knowledge of her whānau’s medical history. That is no longer the case.
Professor Parry Guilford (Te Aho Matatu, Centre for Translation Cancer Research, University of Otago), the lead author of the article, states, “It is very uncommon in international guidelines to single out sub populations, so this is quite a significant move that we hope will reduce their risk as well as helping to reduce inequities in health for Māori.” Karyn, a co-author of these guidelines, is actively encouraging Māori to be tested and to make contact with her for any advice on how to do so. It is important to do so – for the future of our whakapapa.
This research is linked to Karyn’s Marsden funded project E kore au e ngaro – The enduring legacy of whakapapa.
Click here for a link to the updated guidelines in Lancet Oncology
Click on the links in the titles below to access media reports.
|Three, Newshub Live at 6pm, 10/08/2020, Samantha Hayes and Mike McRoberts|
|There are likely to be several hundred Maori unaware they are at high risk of an inherited form of stomach cancer, a New Zealand research team has suggested. The team from the University of Otago is hopeful updated international clinical practice guidelines they helped develop will encourage these people to be tested.|
|Radio NZ – National, Checkpoint, 10/08/2020, Lisa Owen|
|Report by Meriana Johnsen. A move to make it easier to get tested for stomach cancer is expected to save the lives of whanau Maori, and in particular, the several hundred Maori who are unaware they are at risk. New guidelines developed by the University of Otago and Kimihauora Research Clinic allow Maori to be tested for the genetic mutation CDH1 even if there is only one other family member with stomach cancer.|
|Radio NZ – National, 15:00 News, 10/08/2020|
|A new testing criterion for identifying stomach cancer developed by Otago University and the Kimihauora Research Clinic is anticipated to save the lives of whanau Maori. Otago University’s Senior Lecturer at the School of Maori, Pacific, and Indigenous Studies Karyn Paringatai says Maori would have fewer holes to jump through.
|Stomach cancer test to save whanau Maori lives|
|Radio New Zealand, Other, 10/08/2020|
|A move to make it easier to get tested for stomach cancer is expected to save the lives of whānau Māori, and in particular, the several hundred Māori who are unaware they are at risk. New guidelines developed by the University of Otago and Kimihauora Research Clinic allow Maori to be tested for the genetic mutation, CDH1, even if there is only one other family member with stomach cancer.|
|Testing expected to save Maori from stomach cancer|
|Radio New Zealand, Other, 10/08/2020|
|A research team hopes Maori lives will be saved with a new testing criteria for stomach cancer. The University of Otago and Kimihauora Reseach Clinic have developed the new criteria to make it easier for Maori to be tested for the genetic mutation that leads to the cancer.|
|Changing international guidelines to save Maori lives|
|Radio New Zealand, Other, 10/08/2020|
|Researchers have managed to get a change to international clinical guidelines to ensure Maori are tested for a gene which causes stomach cancer. Otago University Professor Parry Guilford explains to Jesse why this gene is more prevalent in Maori and can be identified before a person gets cancer.|
|New clinical guidelines for stomach cancer testing aim to improve outcomes for Maori|
|Newshub, Other, 10/08/2020, Dave Goosselink|
|An Otago University team has developed new clinical guidelines for testing stomach cancer in New Zealand – especially in Maori. Maori have a higher risk of developing the disease, due to a cancer-causing gene passed down through some whakapapa.|
|Research team hopes Maori lives will be saved with new testing criteria for stomach cancer|
|New Zealand Doctor Online, Other, 10/08/2020|
|There are likely to be several hundred Maori unaware they are at high risk of an inherited form of stomach cancer and a New Zealand research team is hopeful updated international clinical practice guidelines they helped develop will encourage these people to be tested. The University of Otago and the Kimihauora Health and Research Clinic’s (Mt Maunganui) work in understanding the role of variants (mutations) in the CDH1 gene in familial stomach cancer and the subsequent development of a genetic test, has dramatically reduced the number of deaths from this form of inherited cancer.|
|A research team hopes Maori lives will be saved by new testing criteria for stomach cancer|
|NZCity, Other, 11/08/2020|
|Otago University Professor Parry Guilford was part of the research team which in 1997, discovered a gene mutation that makes people more likely to get stomach cancer. He’s now helped develop a new set of testing guidelines for it.|
|Research team hopes Maori lives will be saved with new testing criteria for stomach cancer|
|University of Otago, Other, 10/08/2020, Liane Topham-Kindley|
|There are likely to be several hundred Maori unaware they are at high risk of an inherited form of stomach cancer and a New Zealand research team is hopeful updated international clinical practice guidelines they helped develop will encourage these people to be tested. The University of Otago and the Kimihauora Health and Research Clinic’s (Mt Maunganui) work in understanding the role of variants (mutations) in the I gene in familial stomach cancer and the subsequent development of a genetic test, has dramatically reduced the number of deaths from this form of inherited cancer.|
|Newstalk ZB (Auckland), 10:00 News, 11/08/2020|
|Otago University Prof Parry Guilford has helped develop new testing guidelines for his 1997 research, with the hope that it will make it easier for Māori to get tests to find out if they have stomach cancer-causing genes.|
|Newstalk ZB (Auckland), 10:00 News, 11/08/2020|
|Otago University Prof Parry Guilford has helped develop new testing guidelines for his 1997 research, with the hope that it will make it easier for Māori to get tests to find out if they have stomach cancer-causing genes.|
Are you a Māori university student? Would you like to a do a research project over summer – and get paid for it? The Te Hau Kāinga: Māori Home Front project has three summer scholarships available, starting in December. Under supervision, you can develop your own research project in your own home area, whether a historical report, a mōteatea, a video, or such like – something that you can share with your whānau and community. Or you can undertake a project with one of our partner institutions. If you’re keen and interested, read the information and get in touch! If you know of someone who might be interested, please pass this on to them.
2020/2021 Summer Scholarships
Te Hau Kāinga is a University of Otago-based research project supported by the Marsden Fund to investigate Māori experiences within New Zealand during World War Two. The project is offering three summer scholarships for 2020/2021 for Māori students in their second year or above enrolled at a New Zealand university. The purpose of the scholarships is to enable a promising student the opportunity to undertake sustained research work over the summer period.
Under the supervision of the project leaders, successful applicants will get to design their own projects and outputs, in English, i roto i te reo Māori rānei, which may include (but not be limited to) a written history, waiata, exhibition, or artwork that can be shared with whānau. Alternatively, Te Hau Kāinga can suggest a suitable research project, perhaps based in one of our partner institutions. Depending on the nature of the proposed research, successful candidates can be based anywhere within New Zealand. Summer scholarship recipients will also be involved in public initiatives designed to showcase the project to the wider community, including writing a blog post about their research.
- Each scholarship has a value of $5,000 to be paid as a stipend in four instalments directly to the student’s nominated bank account (see details of payment dates and conditions below). Extra funding for travel or other expenses will be available if required.
- The student is expected to contribute a minimum of 400 hours (or ten weeks) to the project, starting in December.
- The approved research project will take place, exclusive of vacation time, between December 2020 and February 2021.
- All applications and associated documents must be submitted by 5pm Thursday 1 October 2020. These will include: a brief curriculum vitae (including a statement detailing any research experience to date, and contact details for two academic referees) and an academic transcript. If you have your own ideas about what you would like to research, please also attach a one-page research plan.
- The successful applicant will be a student of New Zealand Māori descent who was studying at 200 level or higher in 2020, and who will be enrolling for study at Otago or another New Zealand university in 2021. Applicants with suitable skills and a background in the humanities and/or the social sciences are eligible. Students considering enrolling in a postgraduate degree, typically an Honours, Masters or PhD programme, are especially welcome to apply.
- Summer Scholarships are not to be used to fund student research being undertaken for credit towards a degree/diploma.
- The student must not be receiving alternative scholarship support for the same project or any other project over the same timeframe. The student may hold only one Summer Scholarship in total.
- Students who currently hold a PhD or Master’s Scholarship are not eligible for a Summer Scholarship. Students with one of these scholarships and who are on a deferral over the summer period are also not eligible for a Summer Scholarship.
- The studentship will be paid by the University of Otago Scholarships Office in three instalments of $1,500 with a final $500 payment in March providing a satisfactory report on the project is received no later than 28 February 2021.
To discuss the scholarship and possible projects please contact the project leaders: email@example.com.
If you wish to apply, complete and submit this Te Hau Kāinga application form.
Check out the research outputs of previous summer scholarship recipients.
Connor Aston, Ngāti Ruanui (Waikato University) For Kīngi and Country: Waikato During the Second World War.
Dylan Thomas, Raukawa, Hauraki (University of Otago) Māori and Hockey: More than a Game.
Jordan Quinnell, Ngā Ruahine, Taranaki, Tūwharetoa (Massey University) [Artworks]
For further information on the Te Hau Kāinga project, please see: https://www.maorihomefront.nz/
Project Leaders: Professor Lachy Paterson,
Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific & Indigenous Studies
University of Otago.
Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla,
University of Otago.
Professor Poia Rewi will be giving his last ever seminar to Te Tumu as Dean of our School. Poia has been an inspiring leader of Te Tumu and, as most of you know, we are very sad that he will soon be leaving the university for greener pastures elsewhere.
It would be wonderful if you are able to come along to the seminar; if not, then his talk will also be live-streamed on Te Tumu’s Facebook page.
Poia Rewi (Ngāti Manawa, Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whare and Tūwharetoa) hails from Murupara in the Bay of Plenty. He migrated south from Waikato University to Te Tumu, the University of Otago’s School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies in 2003 to help boost our Māori-language teaching programme. He is an acknowledged master of te reo Māori, always teaching the advanced-level language classes. A noted composer in his own right, he also taught Te Tumu’s advanced kapa haka classes. Poia completed his PhD in 2005, written completely in te reo Māori.
He has always been popular with students as a teacher and supervisor, as willing to feed their bellies with his soups as their minds with his knowledge. He became the Dean of Te Tumu and full professor in 2016.
Poia is also a serious and respected researcher, with publications on te reo Māori, language revitalisation, tikanga Māori, Māori oratory and Māori history. Indeed his thesis, published in 2010 as Whaikōrero: The World of Māori Oratory by Auckland University Press, went on to win the Best First Book Non-Fiction Award in the 2011 New Zealand Book Awards.
Poia has always been a great innovator and collaborator. He helped develop AKI, an app to help learn Māori vocabulary with other Otago academics. He is also part of the team that came up with ZePA (Zero Passive Active), a model to advance the public’s attitudes and engagement with te reo Māori, and to promote Māori-language revitalisation, that is now used by a number of government agencies. Recently, Poia has worked with academics at Victoria and Auckland as a Co-Principal Investigator of Te Pae Tawhiti: Te Reo Māori, funded by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, looking at the value of te reo Māori in terms of the economy, cultural identity and social cohesion. This led to The Value of the Māori language: Te Hua o te Reo Māori, published by Huia in 2014, that won the Te Reo Māori category of Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards in 2015. Poia is currently Deputy Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, a position he will reluctantly have to leave behind for his new role in Wellington.
The revitalisation and advancement of te reo Māori have always been Poia’s passions. He was appointed to the board of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) in 2012, and in 2014 was seconded from the university to be their acting Chief Executive. Poia’s new role, starting next month, is also in a similar field, as Tumu Whakarae (Chief Executive) of Te Mātāwai, a government agency created to assist hapū, iwi and communities in the important task of Māori-language revitalisation.
Our loss will be the community’s gain. Poia has been an amazing example for us in Te Tumu and the University of Otago, as a person who lives and breathes tikanga Māori, as an inspirational teacher, a leader in research, as well as a colleague and friend in the academy. We will surely miss him.
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.
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”.
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, 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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Te Tumu would like to congratulate Raphael Richter-Gravier, one of our stellar postgraduate students, for having completed all the post-examination formalities for his PhD on “Manu narratives of Polynesia: a comparative study of birds in 300 traditional Polynesian stories“.
Raphael was supervised by Professor Michael Reilly and Dr Michelle Schaaf from Te Tumu, and through a co-tutelle arrangement, also by Professor Bruno Saura from the University of French Polynesia. Raphael’s research is comprehensive and in-depth, looking at a wide range of bird stories on a number of themes from all around Polynesia, including Aotearoa.
If you are interested in delving into some of the stories, or reading Raphael’s thesis in its entirity, it is now available online on the university’s OUR Archive. Click here to access it.
Raphael will be graduating in December, and is planning to publish from his research.