Fakaalofa ahi atu!
On Wednesday 7 September, Te Tumu welcomed our newest staff member, Dr Jess Pasisi, who is of Niuean descent, as well as Pākehā, Ngāti Pikiao and Tahitian roots.
This was also an opportunity to welcome and acknowledge Maioha Watson (Ngāti Maniapoto) who has been doing an excellent job teaching MAOR308 this semester.
The pōwhiri followed tikanga Māori, but also incorporated Pacific elements as well, with Niuean speeches and a performance by our Pacific coordinator Telesia Kalavite alongside Tongan students, as well as Pacific food for the hākari. Special thanks must also go to Maioha, the kaikōrero for the manuhiri, Neihana Matiu who spoke for the tangata whenua, and Kare Tipa who had held waiata classes for staff, and who kept us to tikanga.
Jess is currently finishing off a Health Research Council funded postdoctoral studies on Niuean wellbeing and happiness that she started while at the University of Waikato. She also has research interests in climate change in the Pacific, and the Pacific countries that make up the New Zealand realm (Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau).
Some Waikato postgraduate students and staff came with Jess to hand her over to Te Tumu. Dunedin-based people may well remember Marcelle Wharerau, who worked and studied in Te Tumu, gaining an MA in Indigenous Development. After the pōwhiri, these guests attended a ‘conversation’ organised by Dr Emma Powell, together with a number of Te Tumu staff. Everyone had some time to share their research and discuss some of their experiences within academia.
Te Tumu is very pleased to have Jess joining our Pacific Islands Studies team, and look forward to what she can bring us. Fakaaue lahi!
Being an academic at a university is not just about teaching and research. It’s also about leadership and capacity building. This post looks at new opportunity for Dr Michelle Schaaf of our Pacific Islands Studies programme to develop these skills.
Te Manahua New Zealand Universities Women in Leadership Programme (NZUWiL) is an initiative for the New Zealand tertiary education sector funded by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara. This programme aims to recognise and enhance women’s leadership capacities and influence within universities. It provides opportunities for participants to examine leadership approaches and strategies; increase understanding of the tertiary education sector, research management, leadership capability, diverse learning environments that builds on the diversity of experience within the group, personal and national networks, active communication and change management techniques.
Michelle is the current Humanities Associate Dean Pacific and a senior lecturer in Te Tumu. At the end of March, she received confirmation that she was the recipient of the Te Manahua NZUWiL Pasifika Women Scholarship and a successful University of Otago nominee selected to attend the 2022 Te Manahua New Zealand University Women in Leadership: Academic Programme.
While Michelle has held numerous leadership roles, she strongly believes that there is always the space and need to upskill to ensure that one does not become a complacent leader. She grasped the opportunity to apply for Te Manahua NZUWiL Programme and the Pasifika Women Scholarship, as vehicle through which she could learn how to become a more effective leader who responds to challenges in a timely and respectful manner. On completion of this programme, Michelle proposes to reciprocate the University of Otago’s nomination, through the transfer of this new basket of knowledge and skills to capacity build and mentor staff.
It’s always great when Te Tumu research gets disseminated to more public audiences. In the last few days, Erica Newman‘s research on the children of Māori who were adopted into non-Māori families has made it into the Otago Daily Times, and Kim Hill’s Saturday Morning programme on Radio New Zealand.
Click here for the ODT article, and on the bar below to listen to the RNZ mp3 file.
“These women and their stories dare to carve their own unique portrait, showing that the world can be positively shaped by our diverse and connected Indigenous voices. Stories about who we are, not who we’ve been told to be.” Qiane Matata-Sipu
Within this book Te Tumu has an alumna, Dr Ani Alana Kainamu, and current Lecturer, Dr Erica Newman. As with all narratives within this pukapuka, both Drs Kainamu and Newman talk about their own journeys within te ao Māori and what they are currently doing.
This book is well presented with fabulous stories from some amazing women.
If you are the type who prefers to listen rather than read, longer versions of each women’s kōrero are available as podcasts on https://nukuwomen.co.nz/nuku100/
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.
Te Tumu is excited to announce the appointment of a “new” lecturer. Of course, many will already know Dr Erica Newman, as she has studied and worked in Te Tumu in various roles over many years. Moving into a confirmation-path lecturer’s role in the Indigenous Development programme is the culmination of all her hard work.
Erica’s research has focused on children and adoption. She undertook her BA (Hons) in Te Tumu, completing a dissertation on Māori, European and “half-caste” children in New Zealand from 1840-1852, with a specific focus on the care of children. She followed this with her MA, a history of adoption/whāngai within Aotearoa New Zealand, including the concept of “whāngai”. This research contains a special emphasis on transracially adopted Māori children and its effects on future generations, something pertinent to Erica’s own whakapapa. Her PhD, completed in 2018, looked at the adoption of children in Fiji during British colonial rule of 1874- 1970, including both indigenous and colonial practices and institutions. Erica has also attended various conferences, and published on her research, including an article on transracial adoption in the prestigious American Indian Quarterly in 2013.
More recently Erica has managed to get through to the second stage of a Fast Start Marsden application on the historical effect of adoptions for descendants of Māori adoptees, how adoption not only affects the adoptee, adoptive parents and biological parents but the ripple effect carried down to following generations. This includes the importance of whakapapa in how Māori adoptees are able to, or not able to, identify themselves as Māori. We have our fingers crossed that Erica’s Marsden bid is successful, as this will be exciting and useful research.
Erica has managed a strong research trajectory despite a heavy teaching load. She has long been responsible for Te Tumu’s giant MAOR102 Māori Society paper, managing hundreds of students each year and a troupe of tutors. Last year she was part of team organising Te Tumu’s modules in the (even larger) POPH192 Population Health paper. But since 2008 Erica has also taught in a variety of other papers in all of Te Tumu’s programmes over the years, as well have undertaken supervision duties in the Master of Indigenous Studies programme. We’ve seen a number of innovations, such as an in-house journal for the MAOR202 Tikanga and Māori paper, to give undergraduate students an idea of what it is like to publish an article, and developing special tutorials for MAOR102 students who come to university already very knowledgeable on tikanga Māori.
So in many ways, not too much is going to change for Erica—she will still be working flat-tack on her research and teaching. It’s just wonderful that we can all celebrate in her success.
Te Tumu is seeing further staff changes with the retirement of another senior staff member, Dr Lyn Carter who, most recently, has been the Programme Coordinator of our Indigenous Development programme. Lyn was farewelled today at Te Tumu, accompanied by friends and colleagues from Te Tumu and the wider university, and by members of Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki.
Lyn was born in Christchurch but lived a large part of her life in the North Island, first in Hastings then in Auckland. Her dad’s parents emigrated from England after the First World War, and on her mother’s side she has links to early Scottish settlers – her great-grandparents had a boat building business at the bottom of Wharf Street in Dunedin. Her Kāi Tahu connections (Kāti Huirapa, Kāti Hawea, Kāti Ruahikihiki, with connections to Te Whānau a Apanui through the Stirling whānau) also come through her mother and grandmother through the Wybrow whānau.
After taking a few extra-mural papers at Massey as a young mum, Lyn enrolled a few years later at the University of Auckland as a mature student (known as “adult learners” at the time), and completed a BA, MA and PhD, all in both Social Anthropology and Māori Studies. She had some stellar names as supervisors for her postgrad study, such as Patu Hōhepa and Ngāpare Hopa, Sir Hugh Kāwharu and Andrew Sharpe. Lyn’s MA investigated “how oral traditions verify place on the landscape – this meant looking at the whakapapa relationships that make us who we are”. Her PhD, completed in 2003, was “Whakapapa and the State: Some Case Studies in the Impact of Central Government on Traditionally Organised Māori Groups”. Lyn says that she “steered slightly away from [her MA topic] with my PhD research mainly because of the circumstances surround Kai Tahu at the time. The treaty settlement negotiations and the eventual settlement made me think quite a lot about how being registered with an iwi could skew whakapapa from being the underlying force of identity and connections, relationships and so on, to becoming a name on a registration list. So I looked at how treaty settlement structures impacted on tradition-based whakapapa.” The thesis caused some debate within Ngāi Tahu circles.
Lyn undertook a variety of roles at the University of Auckland. She tutored for Jane McRae’s oral traditions papers, and through Jane and Jenny Curnow she became part of a team, in a Marsden-funded project, to develop English-language abstracts for articles in the Niupepa Māori corpus. These abstracts allow researchers who do not read Māori a window into the many Maori language newspapers from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Lyn was also offered the lectureship teaching Ranginui Walker’s old paper, Maori Society, and developing further papers in contemporary Maori Society and Governance. During this time Lyn also fitted in a year teaching in the history programme at the University of Canterbury.
Lyn went on to become the Director of the School of Māori Development and Humanities, Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua. Later, she moved to Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne as Interim Director to develop and implement the Centre for Post Treaty Settlement Futures, working alongside Professor Tā Hirini Moko Mead and Tā Wira Gardiner. This work developed from her PhD research around settlement structures and governance challenges. While at Awanuiārangi, Lyn also held a position as Professor of Anthropology in the Post Graduate School, which involved both teaching and research.
In 2011 Lyn joined us in Te Tumu. She says “I have worked with some really good and dedicated people here”. She is an active staff member, whose teaching and leadership has mainly been within our Indigenous Development programme. She has also formed excellent links with colleagues from other academic units, such as Geography and the Centre for Sustainability.
Coming to Otago allowed Lyn to engage more fully with her local Kāi Tahu connections. While she was in Auckland she helped found (with Hirini Matunga and Kepa Morgan) the taura here group, Kai Tahu ki Tamaki Makaurau. She already owned a crib at Warrington, so also used to attend various things at Puketeraki Marae at Karitāne so when she eventually moved down here to the University of Otago she was already involved to some extent with the marae – that spread to being on various committees and becoming very much part of the day-to-day life. She says “When I had my stroke I lived in our kaumatua house next door to the Runaka offices and that was amazing – such great support and whanaukataka from just living that close. I used to say that living away one could still participate, and yes you can, but I now realise that it is not the same as being in the landscape and rejoining with the whenua.”
Lyn was able to capitalise on her connections to Puketeraki in her popular paper, INDV301: Māori and Indigenous Development, Ethics and Governance, which not only provided students with theoretical tools, but took them outside the classroom for practical work with iwi and community groups on local projects.
Lyn’s research has followed a circular path with her current research interests drawing on her earlier research on how oral traditions verify place on the landscape. “I have now gone full circle and concentrate on place naming and landscape and identity – this led to me working with Sami researchers in arctic Norway where awareness of landscape and place naming shapes their existence. My research focus for the past 14 years has been on landscape and identity and in particular how place names can act as environmental indicators for landscape changes over time – more recently in the context of climate change. Again this is a key area working with Associate Professor Kaisa Helander in Gouvdageaidnu, the Sami capital in northern Norway.”
Lyn has many highlights from her academic career to look back on. “There are so many really – teaching has always been rewarding and seeing post-grad and graduate students develop and flourish has been great – brings truth to the whakatauki about new nets taking over from the old in terms of legacy for future Maori academics at universities. Each generation is the legacy of another. I have always felt privileged to have worked with people like Patu Hohepa, Bruce Biggs, Margaret Mutu, Ranginui Walker, Wairete Norman, Hugh Kawharu, up at Auckland – The ones who were instrumental in developing Maori Studies at a University and also getting the marae in place there.
“Te Wananga o Waipapa Marae never seemed like a University Department – more of a meeting of Maori minds. I remember we all took part in the Foreshore and Seabed march across the Harbour Bridge and hosted and supported the various hui and protest groups at Waipapa Marae – in some ways the Department operated as a marae, and the various protests were Maori society in action – Never sure though if many of the students appreciated it all LOL. But those were different times.
“What I have particularly liked at Otago is the whakawhanaukataka between Maori academics and staff on campus and how that brings Maori together from all disciplines – Maori first and that underpins academia.
“Perhaps the main highlights then are all the people I have met and worked with in some capacity and the broadening of mind and thought that that brings with it; not to mention the conferences and research projects that have stretched my own knowledge and capabilities for the better – I have discovered that yes, we are always learning.”
In 2018, Lyn published Indigenous Pacific Approaches to Climate Change: Aotearoa/New Zealand, published as part of Palgrave’s Studies in Disaster Anthropology Series. Click here to access the e-book. This was a sister volume to former Te Tumu academic, Jenny Bryant-Tokalau’s Indigenous Pacific Approaches to Climate Change: Pacific Island Countries.
Lyn says, “Publishing my book on climate change was an achievement – after my stroke I had three key goals and finishing that book was one of them. The others were seeing more of my mokos, and getting back on my motorbike.”
Indeed motorbike trips feature heavily in Lyn and her partner John’s retirement plans. This includes “extended touring around Te Waipoumanu and Aotearoa and visits with the mokos”, although she “may be delayed from going to London for a bit yet to see my son and whānau“. Lyn still has some work for Kāti Huirapa that she is continuing on with, but she says “I pretty much hope to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for a little while”.
He mihi nunui ki a koe, e hine; kāore e kore ka haere tonu āu mahi. Heoi, ko tō te Tumu tūmanako, ka harikoa, ka pārekareka hoki ngā tau maha o tō rītaiatanga.
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).
Te Tumu is fortunate to have two new staff teaching at Te Tumu this year.
Dr Michael Ligaliga was raised in Upolu, Samoa, and attended school in both Samoa and Auckland. He them moved to Hawai’i to pursue undergraduate study at Brigham Young University in Hawai’i, graduating in Political Science and International Peace Building. He first came to Dunedin in 2011, undertaking a PGDipArts at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, followed by an MA.
Michael then moved back to Hawai’i where he taught at BYU-H, and was for a time the acting Director of the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding. He then returned to Otago in 2015 to enrol in his PhD at the NCPCS, with Dr Heather Devere as his primary supervisor. Not only is Michael the first Pacific Islands doctoral student to graduate from the Centre, but his thesis was deemed to be ‘exceptional’ (i.e. when all the examiners of a candidate’s thesis agree that the thesis is among the top 10% of theses examined.)
Michael’s research focuses on domestic and family violence through a Peace and Conflict Studies lens, and the application of Peace and Conflict theories to aspects of Pacific societies. In particular he played with Galtung’s Typology of Violence to highlight the “invisible” nature of societal violence. Michael will continue to pursue and publish this research while he is here in Te Tumu.
This year the university is trialing a new co-taught paper at summer school (PACR101) designed to help integrate new Pasifika students into the university lifestyle and community. Michael arrived in January, and was straight into the classroom teaching these students. This year he will be giving some guest lectures in PACI101 “Pacific Societies” and PACI201″Contemporary Pacific Islands Issues”, and in Semester Two he will teaching PACI410 “Pacific Leadership” and PACI310, a special topic based on his doctoral research.
Michael is pleased to be back “home” in Dunedin, as are his wife Faalima and their daughter and son, Joanie and Leahcim.
Dr Gianna Leoni (Ngati Kuri and Ngai Takoto) is well-known to almost anyone associated with Te Tumu. She is a former Tumuaki (President) of Te Roopu Māori (in 2013), and undertook her BA(Hons) at Te Tumu, as well as her MA and PhD. Her PhD, written in te reo Māori, looked at the use of te reo in government departments. She has also been a tutor and senior tutor, research assistant, teaching fellow, and a co-editor of Te Kōparapara, Te Tumu’s MAOR102 textbook.
Her last position was as a postdoctoral fellow, funded by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (Whai Rawa theme), investigating the expression of economic aspirations in te reo Māori in the past, present and future.
Gianna has been appointed as a lecturer, and this year will be teaching MAOR311, one of our 300-level Māori language papers, and INGS501, the core theory and methods paper for the Master of Indigenous Studies programme. She will also co-ordinate and teach into MAOR206/306 (He Pūkenga Tuhi), a Māori writing skills paper.
Gianna will continue her research from her postdoctoral programme, but is also interested in issues of Māori identity. She sees a multiplicity of identities, and wishes to break down stereotypes of what “Māori” is meant to mean. She believes it is important for her research to be relevant and contribute to the communities she is involved with, the local Dunedin Māori community and her hau kāinga in Muriwhenua.
In her spare time, Gianna is president of the South Pacific Rugby League and Sports Club. The club, with a mainly Māori and Pasifika membership, now boasts 15 teams playing rugby league, basketball, softball and netball.