January 18, 2023

PhD Student's Confirmation Event

Kiri at mahi.
PhD Student's Confirmation Event
Kiri at mahi.

Kiri Parata, Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāi Tahu, has supported Whakauae as a contractor on a number of research and evaluation projects for 15 years, and is currently employed as the Programme Manager for the HRC-funded, Kia Puāwai five year research programme - you can visit the website here.

As a PhD candidate with Te Pūtahi a Toi, Massey University, Kiri holds a Health Research Council of New Zealand Māori Health Research PhD Scholarship for her study, Hoki ki te ūkaipō whenua and hauora: an exploration whānau, whenua and restoration.

Kiri embarked on her PhD study exploring whānau connection to whenua tupuna for enhancing wellbeing on their whānau papakāinga in Waikanae during 2021.

During August 2022 Whakauae hosted a confirmation event with Massey University for Kiri to present her research kaupapa to a panel of academic experts, her research colleagues, whānau and fellow PhD students. Kiri based her presentation on a beautiful artist impression or tohu for her kaupapa which centres on the puna (fresh water spring), Kāpiti Island and maunga Taranaki as sources for wellbeing. Kiri will draw on this tohu to develop her study methodology and design. Her PhD research question is How do contemporary expressions of ūkaipō nurture whānau wellbeing?

The academic confirmation panel strongly agreed that Kiri's research capabilities and focus of the study were valid and offered very encouraging feedback.  Kiri has now passed this significant step in her doctoral journey and will proceed with her study over the next 3 years.

Whakauae is currently hosting three PhD students. Kiri and the two other PhD candidates meet weekly to tautoko each other and offer a sounding board to pitch ideas.  This collaboration saw the group recently present at the International Indigenous Research Conference 2022 (visit the website here), on their model of tautoko to encourage other students to seek out support and create opportunities for developing ideas throughout their doctoral journeys.

Kiri hopes that the Hoki ki te ūkaipō study will showcase the opportunities that whānau can make to enhance their hauora through being active kaitiaki on and with their whenua. Their particular intergenerational and collective approach is supporting this whānau to flourish.


PhD Students (from left clockwise) Stacey Ruru, Kiri Parata & Tom Johnson

PhD Students (from left clockwise): Stacey Ruru, Kiri Parata & Tom Johnson



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