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Student research in Te Tumu papers

It is always gratifying to see proactive student research within Te Tumu papers, and Semester 1 2016 has been no exception.

MAOR202 students research on reducing alcohol harm

This is the second year that students in MAOR202 (Māori and Tikanga)  conducted research with the objective of developing tikanga-informed solutions to reduce alcohol harm. The students acted as consultants to the New Zealand Police who came to them at the beginning of the semester and explained the complex problem of alcohol. The students then spent the semester learning about the useful nature of tikanga and the research process. This culminated in 8 groups projects which ranged from a mobile phone app that promoted connectedness and collective responsibility to reduce sexual assaults to a camp that fostered a sense of belonging and self for at risk foster youth. The projects all worked towards preventative, strengths-based, proactive solutions. They presented their projects to representatives of the New Zealand Police at a small symposium hosted at Te Tumu, and in more detail in their written research reports.  Suzanne Duncan teaches MAOR202.

MAOR308 students research Ngāi Tahu history for kapa haka compositions.

Students: “As an interlude, we’re going to sing ‘Kohikohia ngā rīwai’ as a play on the song from Mount Zion. Everyone knows the tune. It’ll be cool.” (The tune of “Tutira mai ngā iwi.”)
Lecturer: “Yeah that would be great except rīwai were introduced after European arrival.”
Students: “Oh. Ok we’ll change it to ‘Kohikohia ngā kūmara’ then.”
Lecturer: “Again that would be great except kūmara didn’t grow down south because it was too cold.”
Students: “Oh. Ummmm so what can we change it to?”
Lecturer: “Think about the local food supplies down here.”
[Blank looks on their faces.]
Students: “We’ve got it – Kohikohia ngā tuaki? Kohikohia ngā tītī?”

The above conversation with one group highlighted for them early on in the semester how important research was in creating an historically accurate composition, particularly given the theme they had chosen for their performance – an insight into Ngāi Tahu/Ōtākou Māori history.

MAOR 308 was offered for the first time this year. The aim of the paper was to give students the opportunity to work in groups to compose, choreograph and teach each other a haka, waiata or poi. Given the theme, and the fact that only two of the students whakapapa to Ngāi Tahu, the need for the students to research local histories was made clear very early on. Not only did the narrative of their compositions have to be correct but also the reo, the costumes and the choreography. I did not have much to teach them in terms of performance skills – they are all highly proficient performers – but what I could help develop was their research and language skills in this area.


MAOR308 students performing their own compositions.

Haka and waiata is how these students know how to best express themselves and because they were responsible for each item they were more invested in the performance than if they were simply performing something someone else had written for them. The results speak for themselves and the excitement they have created within the community of the potential of Māori performing arts to extend beyond the typical ‘bracket’ performance will have long-lasting effects.  Dr Karyn Paringatai teaches MAOR308.

An account of the MAOR308 performance (and also that of MAOR108 students) can also be found at the Otago Connection.

MAOR427 students translate Māori letter from 1859.

Screen shot 2016-06-10 at 1.38.30 PMThe Hocken Collections is a magnificent cultural treasury and part of the university’s library system.  Within its collections are a number of untranslated Māori-language manuscripts that many researchers are unable to read.  MAOR427 (He Tuhituhinga) is a paper in which students read and analyse Māori-language historical texts, with all discussion and assessment done i roto i te reo Māori.  One of the mahi was to transcribe and translate a 1859 14-sheet letter written by Te Rūnanga o Awataha to the Governor concerning Māori history in Bay of Plenty.  The students were able to give their work back to the Hocken as a resource for future researchers.  Assoc Prof Lachy Paterson teaches MAOR427.

Seminar on the Samoan Elections

Te Tumu Seminar Series

Talofa lava.  Come along to:

“The 2016 Samoan Elections: A Comparative Analysis of Elections in the Pacific Islands Region” (Roundtable Discussion)

Dr. Iati Iati, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics & Dr. Alumita Durutalo, Lecturer, Te Tumu/Maori, Pacific & Indigenous Studies

Friday 11th March, 2016.   2.00pm – 3.00pm

RS8, Level 2, Te Papakori, Te Tumu/Richardson South Building.

Emma Dunlop-Bennett, a new PhD student in Pacific Studies.

Emma Dunlop-Bennett, a new PhD student in Pacific Studies, visited from Wellington recently. Emma is supervised by AP Jenny Bryant-Tokalau and Dr Michelle Schaaf, and her topic is ‘Strengthening Pasifika early childhood education through a Pasifika-developed model’.

Emma’s working background is as Country Director of World Vision Vanuatu, and as Programme Manager in NZAID and MFAT, largely in the Pacific. She has also worked in the Family Planning Association (NZ), and in Rural Development in Zimbabwe. Emma will be based in Wellington but will visit Te Tumu several times a year.

Seminar on Fijian Politics

Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 1.58.00 PM

Click to enlarge.

Dr Alumita Durutalo’s seminar on “The Politics of Security and Insecurity in Fiji” has been rescheduled.  This will now be held 2.30pm, 28 October, in CEN3, in the Central Library.

Dr Lyn Carter – Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Ko Te Wiki o te Reo Māori tēnei wiki.

Hei hāpai i te kaupapa, kei te Whare Pukapuka Pokapū he whakaaturanga nō ngā mahi rangahau a Tākuta Lyn Carter: he whakaaturanga ā-tuhi, he whakaaturanga kōataata hoki.   Ko ‘Whakapapa: hei herenga tangata ki te whenua’ te ingoa.

Kei te Uare Hākena he whakaaturanga e pā ana ki ngā take hauora Māori mai i te tekautau 1950 tae atu ki nāianei.

Hei te te wā ō o te Rāmere (te 31 o Hōngongoi) ka tū hoki a Dr Lyn Carter rātou ko Ahorangi Tuarua Jacinta Ruru ko Dr Lisa Te Morenga ki Te Aka (i te papa-ki-raro o te Whare Pukapuka) kōrero ai mō ā rātou rangahau.  He āhua poto ngā kauhau, 10-15 meneti mō tēnā, mō tēnā.

Dr Lyn Carter‘s research is currently being featured at the university’s Central Library as part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.  This will be in the form of both a static display as well as a slide show presentation.  This is entitled ‘Whakapapa: hei herenga tangata ki te whenua: Whakapapa: connecting people to the land’

There is also a display relating to Māori health issues from the 1850s to the present day.

On Friday 31 July Dr Lyn Carter, Associate Professor Jacinta Ruru and Dr Lisa Te Morenga will be giving lunchtime floor-talks at Te Aka, on the ground floor of the Central Library.  Each presentation will be 10-15 minutes in length.

New PhD Scholarship opportunity

PhD Scholarship on Peace Traditions in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Applications are now being sought for a one-off 3-year PhD scholarship to investigate Indigenous peace traditions in early New Zealand. The scholarship, funded under the Marsden Research Project, “A New Politics of Peace? Investigations in Contemporary Pacifism and Non-violence”, provides a NZD$25,000 annual stipend and covers tuition fees for a period of three years. The successful applicant will be based within the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS), University of Otago, New Zealand, and supervised by Professor Richard Jackson (NCPACS), Professor Murray Rae (Theology) and Dr Michael Stevens (History).

Research Proposals which explore the following topics are particularly welcome:

  • The influence of Christianity in the emergence of Māori nonviolent resistance traditions;
  • The subjugation of Māori peace traditions by settler society in nineteenth-century New Zealand;
  • The instances and causes of Māori groups avoiding conflict during the New Zealand Wars;
  • Māori resistance to conscription during World War One.

If you are interested, contact Professor Richard Jackson of NCPACS for details.  Application deadline: Friday 3 July, 2015.


Research Success for Te Tumu Staff

The New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence, Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga, has been refunded for 2016-2020 .  Although Ngā Pae is hosted through University of Auckland, it has now been organised in conjunction with other institutions.  One of the new co-directors is Associate Professor Jacinta Ruru from Law Faculty at the University of Otago.  At Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigneous Studies we are proud that four of our staff members are among the confirmed Principle Investigators, Research: Professor Paul Tapsell, Associate Professor Poia Rewi, Associate Professor Merata Kawharu, and Dr Lyn Carter.

Dr Lyn Carter has also been asked to develop a research project for the National Science Challenge, Bio-Heritage Theme.  The project is entitled ‘Implementing Vision Matauranga across Tippping Points research programmes’.  Dr Carter will work with a PhD student and Iwi/hapu to develop a mātauranga Māori model for ecosystem sustainability.


Upcoming Te Tumu seminar

 Professor Patricia O’Brien, an ARC Future Fellow based at the Australian National University is currently visiting Otago, and will be giving a seminar to Te Tumu.

In 2012  Professor O’Brien was the JD Stout Fellow in New Zealand Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, and in 2011 she was the Jay I. Kislak Fellow in American Studies at the John W. Kluge Centre at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. From 2001-2013 she was visiting Associate Professor in the Centre for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. She is the author of The Pacific Muse: Exotic Femininity and the Colonial Pacific (Seattle, 2006).

Professor O’Brien will be presenting on material from a current research project, a biography on the Samoan nationalist leader Ta’isi O.F. Nelson.

Her seminar ‘The Trials of Mr Nelson: Ta’isi O. F. Nelson and Indigenous Resistance in Interwar Samoa’ will be held in Cen3 (Central Library) at 2.30pm, March 23rd.  This will be followed by tea, coffee and biscuits in the Te Tumu dining room.

We hope to see you there.


“Layers of History” video online

Layers of History“, a Te Tumu seminar given by Jim Williams on 8 October is now available below.

Apologies for the delay.

Kelli Te Maiharoa featured on Otago Bulletin Board.

Te Tumu PhD student, Kelli Te Maiharoa, and her research on Māori peace legacies have just been featured on the latest Otago Bulletin.  Click here to see more.