July 11, 2022

Whakauae Summer Studentship Reflection - Meretini Bennett-Huxtable

Whakauae Summer Studentship Reflection - Meretini Bennett-Huxtable


Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua

Looking back in order to move forward


In order to look forward into the future we must remember and reflect on what has occurred in the past. I feel so privileged to have gained a studentship at Whakauae. This studentship offered the opportunity to be immersed in the world of Māori research, passionately navigating the world of literature. Learning alongside experienced Māori researchers has deepened my applied research skills and advanced my passion for communicating insights and learnings in a way that is accessible and engaging for our people.


The literature review I undertook as part of my studentship looked at what has been written about Māori and Indigenous Translation, Uptake and Impact of research. Doing the review has allowed me to expand my thinking; make sense of current understandings; scan and scope what is sitting at the forefront of research and provide Whakauae with a number of ideas and methods to accelerate their bespoke Translation, Uptake, Impact Framework (TUI).


I found that to achieve knowledge translation for impact pathways to facilitate key systems change we need to:


  • Translate new research knowledge for whānau, hapū, Iwi and Māori communities and other stakeholders;
  • Facilitate uptake of new research knowledge into policy-making, management action, and professional practice in health; and
  • Design outcomes-centred dissemination methods and tools for impact.


The necessary ingredients for success of Translation, Uptake and Impact need to be innovative, and collective. Furthermore, uplifting and centring the Māori world view can be incredibly empowering not just for Māori, but for all people. While the Western world view is dominant across most of our social systems, the equitable contribution and understanding of Māori thought and perception is vital for improving social, cultural and ecological wellbeing for the people of Aotearoa. 

The literature review identified a kete of considerations to develop actionable intelligence for system change as part of Translation, Uptake and Innovation within Whakauae Research. The value of the collective is vital throughout any research to ensure that the solutions that are developed recognise the lived realities of the end user. To understand the knowledge shared is to value each participant's contribution to the collective as a potential collective benefit.

Thank you so much to Tanya Allport for her unwavering patience with me throughout the studentship. I have been an avid learner in this new space of research, navigating with a constant internal dialogue of imposter syndrome. I am enthralled by the possibilities of the TUI framework and this deep dive has allowed me to be an action-oriented researcher, constantly testing theory through practice. This studentship has offered me the opportunity to advance my research skills so I can now take them into my other areas of work and research, enabling me to give more effectively to my communities and to increase the uptake of mātauranga Māori systems for the betterment of Māori wellbeing.

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