Dr Melinda Webber (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu) and Kapua O’Connor (Ngāti Kurī) will be presenting the next Te Tumu seminar, looking at pathways for the success of Māori students from the Tai Tokerau. Dr Webber, based at the University of Auckland, has been a recipient of Marsden Fast-Start Grant, a former Fulbright/Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Scholar, and was recently awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship from the Royal Society. Kapua O’Connor is also from Auckland where he had been part of Starpath, a pioneering research project focused on equitable outcomes for New Zealand students who have been under-represented in tertiary education.
The seminar, entitled:
Ko ahau tēnei, e tū atu nei
Here I am, standing before you
He uri whakaheke o Te Tai Tokerau
A descendant of the northern tide.
will be in Te Paparewa (Ground Floor, Te Tumu) at 3.30-4.40pm, Wednesday 15 May. Light refreshments and further discussion will follow on from the formal presentation.
Abstract: Whilst key educational policies stipulate that Māori students must “experience educational success as Māori” few have explained what ‘success’ might look like for Māori from the perspective of specific iwi and/or hapū. Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) has an epic history of powerful leaders who have had a positive impact in the Maori world and beyond. This strengths-based Marsden project, led by Ngāpuhi and Muriwhenua descendants, has identified uniquely Tai Tokerau pathways, identities and perceptions of success. The project celebrates Tai Tokerau distinctiveness, success and history using Te Whare Tapu o Ngāpuhi as the boundaries of the study’s reach.
This presentation will outline the emerging findings of this project, highlighting the ways Tai Tokerau have responded to adversity, change, and challenges over many generations. This project has produced powerful narratives of Māori success, identity and thriving from Tai Tokerau by re-telling narratives of success and thriving that put Tai Tokerau icons (both human and non-human), pūrakau, and mohiotanga (knowledge) at the centre of that conceptualisation. Using narrative and thematic analysis approaches this project has produced accounts that express unique understandings of identity and success through a distinctive Tai Tokerau lens, prioritising Northern whakapapa (genealogy), mātauranga (ways of knowing), māramatanga (deep understanding) and wānanga (debate).