This issue of MAI Journal, Volume 12, Issue 2 contains 14 articles across a range of research areas that are representative of the breadth and vitality of Indigenous research in Aotearoa New Zealand. This issue reflects the multidisciplinary nature of MAI Journal articles, covering Post Settlement Governance Entities (PSGE), Transformation through Education, One Health Approach, Māori Women’s Knowledge, Learning Environments, Pacific Peoples Housing Crisis, Understanding the Environment and more.
Our lead article “The design and operation of post-settlement governance entities” A management contribution by Miriama Jordan Cribb and Jason Paul Mika. Post-settlement governance entities (PSGEs) are an outcome of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. Their role is to hold, manage and be responsible for the collective assets received on behalf of claimant groups, most often represented by iwi. However, many PSGEs serve wider purposes, including social, cultural, environmental and other iwi-defined purposes. This article seeks to answer the following research question: What factors influence the design and operation of PSGEs?
The second article in this issue by Hana Turner-Adams, Christine M. Rubie-Davies, Melinda Webber titled “High-achieving Māori students’ perceptions of their best and worst teachers”. Findings showed that Māori students’ best teachers had high expectations for their achievement. They spent class time teaching students and discussing their learning, whereas students’ worst teachers had low expectations and restricted their access to high grades in NCEA. A key finding from this study was that although positive teacher–student relationships were important, they needed to be accompanied by effective teaching practices.
This third article in this issue “Public aspirations for a decolonised city: food security and re-storytelling” by Katie Jane Tollan, Mike Ross, O. Ripeka Mercier, Bianca Elkington, Rebecca Kiddle, Amanda Thomas, Jennie Smeaton. In 2017, the Imagining Decolonised Cities (IDC) competition sought submissions for the public’s visions of a decolonised Porirua. This article presents an analysis of the 40 entries, exploring how participants understand decolonisation enacted in an urban setting. We identified two overarching themes from the submissions that can be linked to wider theories of decolonisation. The first theme identified was food security, demonstrated through participant designs of community gardens, seafood harvesting stations, and larger food transportation systems. The second theme identified was “re-storytelling”, a centring of Māori identities and stories.
The fourth article is authored by Deborah Heke titled "Te Kupenga: A woven methodology for collecting, interpreting, and storying". The research aimed to understand the ways of being and doing of physically active wāhine Māori and relate them to characteristics of atua wāhine. A kupenga is a type of open weave net used for fishing or gathering food. In this research, it represents the weaving together of three approaches: Whakapapa, Mana Wahine theory, and physical activity. While each offers a unique way to view the world and your position in it, their intersections offer important shared qualities that purposefully shape the research, its philosophy, and its methods.
The fifth article “Māori expert views of antimicrobial resistance using a one health approach: A qualitative study” by Samuel D. Carrington, Pauline Norris, Patricia Priest and Emma H. Wyeth. Māori experience disproportionately worse outcomes from infectious diseases compared to non-Māori, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) contributes to these inequities. The aim of the study reported in this article was to gain insight into Māori experts’ perspectives on AMR using a One Health approach, which incorporates understandings of human, animal and environmental health. Qualitative methods were applied and were guided by principles of Kaupapa Māori research.
Our sixth article titled "Pacific peoples, New Zealand housing-related political rhetoric and epistemic violence" by Georgia Brown, Adele Norris. This article employs content analysis to examine the political framing of Pacific peoples in housing-related political rhetoric from 2007 to 2021. The analysis reveals that Pacific peoples almost exclusively featured only in discussions led by Pacific and Māori politicians who sought to add their communities’ perspectives into debates where most politicians either ignored them or made uninformed comments.
"Taiao and mauri ora: Māori understandings of the environment and its connection to wellbeing" by Marjorie Lipsham is the seventh article. The research was undertaken through a Kaupapa Māori methodology that carried an obligation to apply Māori ways of knowing and being across all areas of the study. This article draws upon one component from the larger study that concerned taiao and mauri ora. Kaikōrero discussed how being on land, by their respective waterways or being able to access their own cultural resource brought them mauri ora such as balance, cultural connection and wellness.
“Māui Tīnihanga Transformation through Education” is our eighth article by authors Heperi Harris, Marie Chen Ngarotata, Reimana Tutengaehe, Katie Marr, Nikki Hannan and Faye Wilson-Hill. The learning experiences of tauira Māori were analysed using a framework informed by the Māui narrative. An outcome of this analysis was a better understanding of key factors that influence the learning journey at Ara for tauira Māori. In addition, the findings of this study informed the Māui Te Tauira pastoral support and mentoring programme and teaching practice at Ara, and guided programme design and delivery to support Māori achievement.
In the ninth article “Creating a Hā habit: Utilising Māori innovations in breathwork to alleviate and build resilience to the effects of trauma, PTSD and generalised anxiety" by Rawiri Waretini-Karena and Julia Wikeepa. This article describes how the creation of a “Hā habit”—a breathwork practice that is inspired by the whakapapa of the Hā—can alleviate the debilitating effects of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and generalised anxiety. Inspired by an existing breathing tool, co-author Julia Wikeepa explored the whakapapa of the Hā and developed a Māori innovation called the Hā tool—a stainless steel breathing tool that can be worn as a necklace. By using the Hā tool and creating a Hā habit, people can learn about the underlying causes and contributing factors of their poor mental wellbeing.
"Adjustment to chronic illness as informed by Māori: A qualitative synthesis of studies and best practice guidelines" is our tenth article by Nikita Kirkcaldy. This article conducts a literature review of Māori health and wellbeing models and best practice guidelines to identify what Māori see as central to illness adjustment and determine practical strategies to inform better practice in the context of chronic illness. Two overarching themes were identified as central to the adjustment process: dimensions of health and wellbeing, and whanaungatanga. In addition, five strategies to support adjustment to chronic illness were identified: developing culturally safe practices, involving a patient in their care, involving whānau in care, developing trusting relationships and collective responsibility.
“Reviewing flexible learning spaces for Māori-medium education” is our eleventh article by Jo Mane, Jenny Lee-Morgan, Ruia Aperahama and Jo Gallagher. With the increasing presence of FLSs in the school landscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand, researchers have begun to explore the significance of spatial design on classroom teaching and learning. The vast majority of this research has been undertaken in English-medium schools, and the participation of Māori voices in the discussion of FLSs over the last 20 years has been minimal at best. Consequently, this article reviews the relevant literature with a focus on the benefits and challenges of FLSs within Māori-medium education settings and contributes another Māori voice to this discussion.
The twelfth article by Kylie McKee "Ensuring equity for indigenous peoples using a Māori model of health.” Systemic inequity and homelessness among Māori in New Zealand is explored, highlighting the disproportionate impact of poverty, overcrowding and homelessness on this population. This paper examines the historical context of colonisation and societal changes contributing to the housing strain and homelessness faced by Māori. The research study conducted by an Indigenous navigation service using secondary analysis and the Te Whare Tapa Whā framework revealed insights from 60 Māori participants. Emphasising the Indigenous context, including the Treaty of Waitangi, the paper explores Māori well-being, cultural values and the importance of marae.
The thirteenth article titled "Whenua ki te whenua: Indigenous naming of the land and its people by reconnecting the past to the present and the future" by Lesley Rameka, Mere Berryman and Diana Cruse. It presents the voices of kaumātua and whānau from the hapū speaking on their worldviews, values, experiences and practices related to naming tamariki. Their narratives of experiences provide insights into motivations, influences and understandings concerned with naming practices from traditional pre-European to contemporary times.
The final article, titled “Te Whare Tapa Whā and Facebook: Online communication with Māori postgraduate students during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown" by Rachel Jane Sizemore. During the country’s first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, the Adviser used Facebook—specifically the University of Otago’s page for Māori postgraduate students—to communicate with this cohort. Whānau was the most important pillar of Te Whare Tapa Whā in getting students to engage, and this was stimulated by the introduction of the Adviser’s pets. Pet posts helped maintain and form relationships with students. The Facebook page continues to be used to communicate with students in the post-COVID-19 environment.