Mātauranga Māori Student Researchers

Dean Mahuta - PhD

Topic:

He Piko, he taniwha, Waikato Taniwharau – Tribal landmarks, a source of Indigenous identity (written in te reo Māori)

Abstract

This PhD will provide an analysis of indigenous identity, specifically, Waikato Indigenous identity.  The research will focus on the oral histories pertaining to the Waikato River which in turn will be used as a case study for tribal landmarks as a source for indigenous identity. Furthermore, the research will describe the bond between the people of Waikato and their ‘ancestral river’ and provide a ‘Māori’ perspective of Indigenous identity and identify the importance that oral traditions have on Indigenous cultures, particularly, te iwi o Waikato.

Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta - PhD

Topic:

The Politics of Waiata:  Composition (Waiata/Haka) as political archives of our past  - WORKING TITLE

Abstract

Te Reo Māori is traditional an exclusively oral language, therefore, our waiata (songs) have acted as an archive of our histories and traditions, including those histories pertaining to political events.  Waiata offer us an alternative view of the history of this country to those that are based on Pākehā history books and archives.  However, many are being lost through time and with them our knowledge base regarding the meaning behind the words.  This PhD will provide an analysis of the role of Māori composition (waiata/haka) as a political commentary throughout the history of Aotearoa/New Zealand (pre-contact and post-first contact).  Furthermore, the concept of ‘politics’ will be explored in relation to a Māori world-view, identifying what could be considered a political occurrence in both traditional and contemporary Māori society.

Wahineata Smith - PhD

Topic

Whakapapa:  Kore mōhio, kore tūākiri? – Whakapapa and its relationship to Māori Identity - WORKING TITLE (written in te reo Māori)

Abstract

Whakapapa is a cultural concept which is embedded within te ao Māori and links us to the natural world, the esoteric world and the human world through a series of relationships fundamental to our identity as Māori (in a collective sense) and as members of whānau, hapū and iwi.  This PhD will provide some understanding of the breakdown in transmission of Māori amongst Māori families and in particular intergenerational transmission as a result of urbanisation and the effect on identity.  Furthermore, this research will investigate common ways in which whakapapa was and is transmitted and what the significance of whakapapa is in both traditional and contemporary Māori society.  The research will also look at the struggles Māori face in today’s society that contribute to the lack of knowledge pertaining to one’s whakapapa and also the effects of now knowing one’s whakapapa has on ones identity as a Māori in the modern world.

Jason King - PhD

Topic:  

Māori Leadership – Succession:  He Mana Tuku Iho, He Mana Tuku Atu – WORKING TITLE (written in te reo Māori)

Abstract

Traditionally, leadership and roles were influenced by the status of whakapapa (genealogy), mana (authority), tangohanga (the acquisition of wealth), tohatoha (the distribution of wealth), consultation with the hapū (sub tribe) and iwi (tribe) and an obligation to uphold the prestige of the tribe based on customary protocols and customs. Colonisation and various factors proportionate with colonisation have contributed to a change in the process of leadership succession within Māori society and have seen the rise of various other forms of Māori leaders including pan Māori leaders, community protest and academic leaders, Māori organisations and parliamentary leadership.This research aims to explore the realm of Māori leadership and succession, mana tuku iho (the ceding of mana), mana tuku atu (the bequeathing of mana), tuku mātauranga (the transmission and dissemination of knowledge), and will demystify how these processes and practices have changed from Te Ao o Nehe (the time of our ancestors) through to Te Ao o Nāianei (the present day).   

Furthermore, this research aims to explore and develop a model of Māori leadership that can be readily adopted by future generations, based on a comparative analysis of traditional and contemporary forms of leadership succession.

Erana Foster - PhD

Topic:  

Tikanga Wahine – From Concept to Practice – WORKING TITLE

Abstract:

Tikanga, or the cultural practices of the Māori, are a fundamental part of Te Ao Māori, (the Māori world).  As manifestations of the culture, tikanga encapsulate Māori ethos and philosophies. Embedded within these cultural practices are the values and beliefs of ngā tūpuna, our ancestors. Tikanga Wāhine can be translated as customary practices pertaining to women and the many roles women fill within the various contexts of the marae (formal meeting ground of the Māori), the home, at work and any other respective domain (Foster 2002). Mana Wāhine (the power and authority of women) was rooted in Māori cosmology, the female power bases of tapu (sacred, restricted) and noa (free from restriction), originating from the many female atua (deities).  Traditionally, women’s roles were highly valued and regarded as just as important as those of men.  The complementarity of roles was imperative for the completion of set tasks and the maintaining of balance and harmony within Māori society. Colonisation and various factors commensurate with colonisation including research and publications of early anthropologists and ethnographers, have contributed to a change in the roles and the perceptions of the female within Māori society and a diminishing of their standing and mana (power and authority).  The misconception of the female as merely noa has been readily adopted and accepted by mainstream society. Therefore, this research aims to demystify and challenge this notion by rewriting and reclaiming the histories, or in this case, the herstories of our ancestors and the traditional power bases of the female element.

Valance Smith - PhD

Topic:

The role of te reo Maori in Maori popular music – WORKING TITLE (written in te reo Māori)

Abstract:

Today, indigenous Māori music incorporates a variety of distinctive traditional music styles practiced by Māori, as well as a range of contemporary musical styles of and fusion with non-Maori traditions as interpreted, engaged and performed by Māori artists.  In the music of some ‘Maori bands’, references to earlier forms of music such as waiata, which is underpinned by the Maori language, make a historical thread explicit as a factor of their work.  On the other hand, choices of musical style and technological mediation by other ‘Maori bands’ are less than obligated to incorporate the Maori language, yet for some listeners and certainly the bands themselves might constitute criteria for producing a contemporary Maori music ‘sound’.  Clearly both ends of this culturally creative spectrum may claim Maori pop music status.  What is unclear however, are the necessary criteria required to claim this status.  Where does Maori popular music end, and New Zealand popular music begin?  Is te reo Māori fundamental to this sound?  Is being an artist of Maori descent by default a requirement?

Elisa Duder - MA(MāorDevt)

Topic:

The effectiveness of using digital technology in learning te reo Māori: A Case Study

Abstract:

Te Ara Poutama (Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development at AUT University) is currently developing a comprehensive collection of digital resources to support the teaching and learning of te reo Māori (Māori language) based on the Te Whanake resources by Professor John Moorfield. The intention is to investigate how these new resources are being used by both Māori language teachers and their students; how levels of digital literacy are affected and to track uptake and retention of the target language. The results will inform both the content and media of future developments of Te Whanake.


Last updated: 17-Jul-2015 10.54am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.