News & Updates

Te Ruru – Co-creating an Indigenous Systems Change Framework

Systems thinking is a way of looking at the world that recognises the interconnectedness of both natural and human-made systems. Through the Kia Puāwai programme we have been able to explore what our own systems change framework might look like – a framework to help us guide our aspirations to use the Kia Puāwai research as an agent of change.

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Hauiti perceptions of home

As we, the Tō mātou kāinga research project team transition to the next project phase, we were lucky to host a home and housing wānanga with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti in early May. This gathering served as a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration, as we collectively strive to begin conversations about what a housing strategy for Ngāti Hauiti may look like in the future. In this wānanga we got to explore with the Rūnanga – what could Hauiti look like in 2060? What are Hauiti stories about home? What would a dream papakāinga look like? There was a beautiful exchange of ideas and sharing of kōrero that will undoubtedly enrich our research endeavours and begin crucial planning in this space.

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Research Team Premiere an Animated Film for the Rapua Te Ara Rangatira Project

Research Team Premiere an Animated Film for the Rapua Te Ara Rangatira Project

At its first quarterly strategic hui at Rātā marae, held on 24th of February 2024, Dr Amohia Boulton, Utiku Potaka, and Luke Enoka, members of the Rapua te Ara Rangatira research team premiered an animated film outlining the governance and leadership research being conducted with Ngāti Hauiti.

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Kua puta atu te pukapuka nā a Interim Findings ki te ao mārara!

On November 25, 2023, at Rātā marae, Lead Researcher Dr. Amohia Boulton and Senior Researcher Utiku Potaka provided an in-depth update on the Rapua te ara Rangatira study to Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti. The session concluded with the official launch of the first publication from the study, Rapua te Ara Rangatira, Kia Hikitia Ai Te Oranga: Interim Findings.

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Translation, Uptake and Impact (TUI) – ĀROA: Finding your political voice

What happens when you take a roopu of rangatahi, expose them to research on identity, politics and leadership, housing, media and Māori health and ask them to come up with a way to kōrero about politics? Turns out that you get some amazing whakaaro on things that matter to rangatahi, and views on what it means to ‘be political’.

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Kia Puāwai – gathering two years on from the launch, the benefits of whanaungatanga

The  Kia Puāwai research team, with representatives from all four projects, came together in Whanganui on the 18th and 19th October 2023, for our annual wānanga to:

- reflect on the previous year’s progress,

- explore opportunities for moving forward,

- talk about systems change within the context of each research project,

- discuss integration of research results, and

- update their individual project evaluation frameworks.

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Achievements and learnings from the second year of our study

There have been some great outcomes in the first 18 months of our He Waka Eke Noa study. A first for us was developing and acting in our own short video introducing the research to you all. Thank goodness we have willing members of our whānau who were willing to jump in, take starring roles and help make our video shine! The short video can be viewed on this website.  

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How to survive another election year in Aotearoa

When I look back on my life, I reflect on the people who made me. It is obvious to say that “my whānau knows me best”, but there are so may outside perceptions and expectations that shape who we are, many of which – for a young Māori male – have meant navigating through a sea of racist, homophobic, discouraging, and exclusionary environments, and which shape our political landscape here in Aotearoa.

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In the steps of our tupuna

Rapua Te Ara Rangatira explores what's required to develop and support excellence in iwi leadership, governance and decision-making. We contend that if we strengthen our governance, decision-making and leadership skills, abilities and processes at the iwi and hapū level, this will have positive, flow-on effects into other systems (e.g. the health sector), at a time when strong Māori leadership is critical to achieving positive outcomes for Māori.  

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Rangatahi voices emerge through studentship

The TUI team (Translation, Uptake and Impact) has dedicated its first year of research to operationalising a TUI model for research uptake and impact with its internal research team. Taking a systems perspective, and using an emerging Whakauae systems change model, we identified a need to secure entry points for aspiring Kaupapa Māori researchers where our current capacity to do research is limited. The TUI team is testing a new way of working with upcoming tauira, current undergraduate Māori students as part of the Whakauae Winter Studentship in 2023.

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Tō mātou kāinga, tō mātou ūkaipō

This research project aims to develop a model that captures what is required for whānau to be safe and well ‘at home’. The project will look specifically at:

- Understanding whānau conceptualisations of ‘home’ related to connectedness, people, place, and space, and their influence on whānau members’ needs for safety and wellbeing, particularly within a Covid-19 era;

- Co-constructing and producing whānau-centred model(s), safety and wellbeing indicators and resources for whānau to enhance safety and wellbeing at home and within their communities; and

- Constructing an outcomes framework and indicators to measure the impact of the whānau-centred model(s) developed.

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Tomairangi, our new Whakauae Studentship recipient joins Tō mātou kainga, tō mātou ūkaipō

Currently studying Creative Writing and te reo Māori at Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau (AUT), Tomairangi brings her unique skills and critical rangatahi-lens to the Tō mātou kainga, tō mātou ūkaipō - Whānau conceptions of home, creating safe and healthy home environments research project as part of a Studentship with Whakauae Research and the Kia Puāwai program.

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"Home is more than a house" - hearing the voices of whānau on home and wellbeing

Tō mātou kāinga, tō mātou ūkaipō is a research project that is talking to whānau across the motu to hear their voices, hopes, dreams and solutions towards understanding the diversity of what whānau need and want in a home environment.

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Kia Puāwai Winter Studentship recipient: Saffron Stanley

Saffron Stanley is one of our Winter Studentship recipients working on a project for Kia Puāwai.

"To me, a flourishing 2050 for Māori is underscored by the overall aspiration of mana motuhake, where our aspirations, needs, culture, and whānau networks are nurtured and met through Māori-led kaupapa. I envision a future where we are protected, heard, and empowered in all areas."

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Kia Puāwai Winter Studentship recipient: Ben Barton

Ben joins the Kia Puāwai crew with his Whakauae Winter Studentship award.

"My passion for research is not only fuelled by my strong curiosity to delve into challenging and complex questions but also motivated by the urge to decolonise Aotearoa, tackle societal issues, and create groundbreaking solutions that enhance the wellbeing of our people."

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Kia Puāwai Winter Studentship recipient: Jorja Heta

Meet Jorja, who is working with our Winter Studentship crew for Kia Puāwai.

"Research to me is a powerful avenue to be critical. To unpack and dismantle western theories and breathe new life into Indigenous stories. Sourcing the wisdom of our Tūpuna that informs us to move backwards into the future.  Ka mua, ka muri."

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Kia Puāwai Winter Studentship recipient: Reuben George Himiona Nightingale

Reuben is one of our latest Kia Puāwai Winter Studentship recipients.

"Throughout my academic journey so far, I have found great fulfilment in connecting my cultural heritage with my learning. Reflecting on the generational trauma and the impact of colonial rule on our people allows me to recognise the profound importance of research in addressing these issues. By engaging in research, I see an opportunity to contribute to the restoration of our sovereignty."

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Studentship 2023 - Political party election platforms

For tertiary students interested in getting some real research experience and working with senior Māori health researchers for three months during the 2023 winter, our studentship programme is intended to assist a student in their education and the development of their research skills. The award is contestable and based on merit and academic quality and supported by an academic supervisor. The studentship will provide experience and support for Māori students wanting to learn new skills and gain experience in game-changing research. Applications for the Studentship will be open from 27 March 2023 to 21 April 2023.  To apply please send your CV, a reference from an academic supervisor and a covering letter to: sonja@whakauae.co.nz

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From left: He Waka Eke Noa team members Dr Pat Neuwelt, Gill Potaka-Osborne, Lynley Cvitanovic and Dr Heather Gifford with the Mauri o te Awa Tool.

Cohesiveness, caring and diverse capabilities: three wins for He Waka Eke Noa

He Waka Eke Noa is an authentic and active partnership between three distinct groups of interest; Whakauae researchers, whānau research participants and Gonville Health, a primary care practice in Whanganui.

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Health Research Council Māori Health PhD Scholarship awarded to Stacey Ruru

Health Research Council Māori Health PhD Scholarship awarded to Stacey Ruru

"As a first year PhD student at the University of Waikato, I had the opportunity to develop a research proposal that extended my master’s work. My master’s thesis was based on how Māori women leaders-maintained wellness in leadership roles. I am now undertaking PhD research which will investigate the experiences of Māori women in leadership and mentoring before, conceptualising a framework for future leaders."

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Translation, Uptake and Impact (TUI)

Translation, Uptake and Impact (TUI) – Working Towards Systems Change

The Whakauae team have started on a journey looking at systems change and how our mātauranga Māori can be used to create a framework for how we think about and apply systems change in our Kia Puāwai programme grant.

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Associate Professor Bridgette Masters-Awatere

Programme Team Member Wins Science Award

Associate Professor Bridgette Masters-Awatere was recently awarded the Waikato DHB Medical Science Award, one of a series of awards presented annually by the Kudos Science Trust. The Kudos Awards are the only regional (Waikato) science awards in New Zealand and are seen as showcasing research excellence and cutting-edge science.

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