Rosemary Rangitauira

Set on finding a solution for Kauri dieback - Mātau Taiao

Aug 11, 2021

Dr Amanda Black of Tūhoe, Whakatōhea and Te Whānau-a-Āpanui is a researcher of environmental soil chemistry, biochemistry, and soil ecosystem health and has set her sights on finding a solution to tackle Kauri dieback. The disease starves the native tree of nutrients and water and is caused by a microscopic fungus-like organism called Phytophthora agathidicida. The organism lives in the soil and infects the kauri roots, damaging the tree’s tissues, nourishing the native species. “I want to nail this Kauri dieback disease on the head. It’s a problem that will require 20 solutions to address it. I’d like to provide one of those solutions and work out how we can manage our whenua (land) better so we’re more resilient to climate change, pests, diseases and weed invasion,” says Amanda. She’s been involved in numerous environmental studies including: The response … Read More

Pursuit of ‘positive social change’ - Mātau Taiao

Aug 11, 2021

Dr Maria Bargh, who has a PhD in Political Science and International Relations, is driven to use her research disciplines to create positive social change in Aotearoa. Her research focusses on three key areas: Māori politics te taiao – the environment; and the Māori economy Maria is based in Wellington and is an associate professor in Te Kawa a Māui (the School of Māori Studies) at Victoria University in Wellington. Her primary research field is in politics and whose opinion on Māori politics is regularly sought by the media. Maria has an interest in constitutional change, Māori representation across general and local elections as well as exploring Māori voter turnout numbers. “I’m currently interested in the discussion around the Māori Electoral Option because it’s quite a narrow conversation about frequency and timing and not about what I think … Read More

A path forged by wisdom - Mātau Taiao

Jul 05, 2021

Dr Poia Rewi credits his kaumātua (elders) for much of his journey as a kaihāpai o te reo Māori (Māori language supporter) and also acknowledges the pivotal role non-Māori mentors have played in his life. “Being raised in Murupara (Bay of Plenty) I was mentored by my koroua (grandfathers), kuia (grandmothers), and pākeke (adults) who guided my affinity for Māori language and culture,” says Poia, who hails from Ngāti Manawa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Whare, Te Arawa, and Ngāti Tūwharetoa. The first of July marks a year since Poia was appointed as the chief executive of Te Mātāwai, an independent statutory agency charged with revitalising te reo Māori. The former specialist researcher in Māori language revitalisation, culture, oral history and performing arts was recently awarded the status of Emeritus Professor to recognise his distinguished services to the University of Otago. Read More

‘Little nuances can change a community’ - Mātau Taiao

Jul 05, 2021

Supporting Auckland communities to ‘re-indigenise’ their spaces, to enhance opportunities for better health outcomes for their hapori (communities), is Dr Kimiora Raerino’s mission. Kimiora, of Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Rangiwewehi, specialises in research on the physical environment, health and Māori wellbeing, and has lived in Auckland for about 30 years. She works as a research officer in the Whāriki Research Centre at Massey University and is a co-chair of Te Kotahi a Tāmaki – Marae Collective. Some of the research she’s involved in includes: 2012 Transport Patterns and Whānau Ora Report 2013 Indigenous Māori perspectives on urban transport patterns linked to health and well-being; and 2021 Article: Local-Indigenous Autonomy and Community Streetscape Enhancement: Learnings from Maori and Te Ara Mua—Future Streets Project Te Āki is humbled to catch up with Kimiora in her new Auckland office … Read More

Weaving mātauranga Māori and science can empower Aotearoa - Mātau Taiao

Jul 05, 2021

Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua – As man disappears, the land remains. This proverb embodies Dr Daniel Hikuroa’s ambition to look after the land while he’s here and highlights his passion to weave mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) with science. Dan affiliates to Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui and Ngāti Whanaunga.   He specialises in many disciplines including Earth systems science, natural hazards and disasters, decision-making frameworks, geothermal geology and climate change. Dan says he’s comfortable holding two opposing views; te ao Māori and the western world. “I think it makes me a better researcher.” He encourages scientists, engineers and technical officials to learn about mātauranga Māori, which he says is part of our national identity. “If we’re making decisions for Aotearoa New Zealand, we need to draw from all information. It’s incumbent upon the nation for the benefit of the nation to … Read More

Restoring the forest’s song - Mātau Taiao

May 24, 2021

A primary goal for Thomas (Tame) Malcolm is to reinstate the mauri (life force) of the country’s forests by getting rid of pests, introduced to Aotearoa, that are destroying native flora and fauna. He hails from Ngāti Tarāwhai, Ngāti Pikiao, Tapuika, Ngāti Ngāraranui, Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Ruanui. In te reo Māori, he tells us that each forest has a unique language and eco-system which has been impacted by human behaviour. “He wā tōna, he reo motuhake tō te ngahere. Nā ngā whanonga ā tātau te ira-tangata, kua whawhati taua reo. Ko tāku, hei hāpai, kia whakahoki taua reo ki tōna taumata, kia rongo ai āku mokopuna, te reo i rongo ai ōku tūpuna.” Tame, who is from Rotorua, explained in te reo that he aims to help restore the voice of the forest by doing what he can so that … Read More

One with the environment - Mātau Taiao

May 24, 2021

Mihi mai ki a Dr Jane Kitson, an ecologist and environmental scientist, who as a youngster dreamed of becoming Indiana Jane. She hails from Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe and Waitaha. “My immediate family’s lives revolve around the seasonal calendar of gathering kai. Like kaimoana (seafood), tītī (muttonbirds), trout, salmon, duck or deer hunting,” she says. Her upbringing and curiosity about the outdoors and its connection to all living things inspired her to pursue environmental research, primarily around water and food gathering. “Being and playing outdoors was always part of who I am. My PhD was about tītī (sooty shearwaters). I grew up knowing that my father’s family had whakapapa connection to the Tītī islands and the right to harvest from there. That herenga (connection) to my whānau drew me to researching more about tītī.” Jane runs her own business, Kitson Consulting … Read More

Following the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ - Mātau Taiao

Apr 13, 2021

The melody from the classic movie Wizard of Oz echoes as Jacinta Ruru explains what inspired her to attend university, and her ambition to help create a more just society in Aotearoa. Jacinta, who affiliates to Raukawa and Ngāti Ranginui, specialises in the research areas of indigenous peoples and the law. She is a professor at the University of Otago’s Faculty of Law and a co-director at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, the country’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence. Her career has partly been inspired by the short story, Yellow Brick Road, by Witi Ihimaera which trails a Māori family travelling from Waituhi near Gisborne to Wellington, which is described in the pūrākau (story) as the Emerald City. On their travels, they run out of gas and no one stops to help them. The pūrākau cemented for Jacinta the social prejudice … Read More

Driven to serve - Mātau Taiao

Apr 13, 2021

Driven, accountable, unafraid to test limits and connected to the communities she serves are traits that come to mind when thinking about Dr Anne-Marie Jackson. (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu o Whangaroa, Ngāti Wai) She specialises in Māori physical education and health research disciplines while incorporating tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi into her research work and the tertiary programmes that she has developed. Anne-Marie currently works at the University of Otago and holds leadership roles in: Te Koronga – A research excellence group set up to supervise and train Māori research students and non-Māori research tauira (students) who want to work with Māori communities on Māori research topics as well as the Indigenous Science Research Theme. She co-founded Te Koronga with Dr Hauiti Hakopa; and Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai – A project led by Associate … Read More

‘Knowledge is power’ - Mātau Taiao

Mar 05, 2021

Mā te mōhiotanga, ka mārama – mā te māramatanga, ka ora. (Through awareness comes understanding, and enlightenment empowers well-being) Dr Tahu Kukutai embodies this whakataukī (proverb), a wahine (woman) who is driven by a purpose to unveil the stories behind population statistics. Tahu specialises in Māori population research, Indigenous data sovereignty, Ethic and racial classification. She currently works at the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis at the University of Waikato. While preparing this profile, Tahu flicked Te Āki an extract she penned called ‘Finding Tahu’ for the book, Ngā Kete Mātauranga – Māori Scholars at the Research Interface. A fascinating read which among her tuhinga (writings) she talks about her parents’ determination for her and her siblings to excel in education,  how demographers report on Indigenous Peoples and how these groups experience different fertility and mortality … Read More