Rosemary Rangitauira

Te reo Māori changed Dr Awanui Te Huia’s life - Mātau Taiao

Oct 27, 2021

Te reo Māori immersion workshops, Kura Reo, changed the trajectory of Dr Awanui Te Huia’s life and set her on a new course of research to explore. Awanui’s initial research background is in Māori health and social psychology. For the past 10 years, her passion for research includes the links between Māori knowledge and psychology, and the experiences of Māori language learners as well as New Zealand biculturalism. Awanui, who affiliates to the hapū of Ngāti Paretekawa (Ngāti Maniapoto), says her love for te reo Māori was born from her relationship with her native te reo Māori-speaking Koro (Grandfather) and was reignited as an adult as a result of attending Kura Reo, after spending a year in Japan. “I had been in health research through my background in psychology up until the point where I began attending Kura Reo. Read More

Scion’s newest Emeritus Scientist - Mātau Taiao

Sep 29, 2021

Scion has appointed Dr Tanira Kingi (Ngāti Whakaue, Te Arawa), who’s currently working with Māori landowners to find alternative ways to use their land, as its newest Emeritus Scientist. Scion’s former Research Leader in Primary Industry Systems is an agricultural economist with 30-years-experience working in the primary industry sector. Tanira says the current industry infrastructure for meat, milk and logging is taxing on the environment. “I see Māori landowners having a leadership role to change the status quo for the country because their focus is different to other landowners. Māori want to make the best decisions for current generations based on their responsibilities handed down to them by their tūpuna (ancestors). While at the same time being accountable to future generations; their children and mokopuna (grandchildren), who will judge their decisions.” Tanira and his team are working with land … Read More

Māori-friendly tool to diagnose dementia to be available in 2022 - Mātau Taiao

Sep 29, 2021

A trained clinical neuropsychologist, Dr Makarena Dudley,  is part of a team developing a Māori-friendly tool to help diagnose dementia which is due to be available by mid-2022. For many years, Makarena administered neuropsychological assessment tools, developed overseas, which she says haven’t always helped diagnose Māori patients. She says the current assessment tools fail Māori. “It became more and more difficult for me to administer these tools. In the back of my mind, I’d always consider the idea of developing a Māori friendly tool to aid mental health.” Makarena, who hails from Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri and Ngāti Kahu, is involved in the development of a tool called MANA, the Māori Assessment of Neuropsychological Abilities, for diagnosing mate wareware (dementia). It will be used by clinicians and physicians and incorporates tikanga Māori (Māori protocols), Māori content and scoring criteria. A … Read More

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