July 9, 2024

Wintery Retreat a Productive Undertaking

Waitetoko View towards Tauhara
Wintery Retreat a Productive Undertaking
Waitetoko View towards Tauhara

Luke Enoka, Utiku Potaka and Amohia Boulton spent a few days together recently in wintery Waitetoko progressing the Rapua te ara Rangatira research project and planning upcoming cultural projects and events.

In addition to whakawhanaungatanga, team members accomplished a number of Rapua project-related tasks, namely:

  • The development of a paper outline and the assignment of writing tasks for the first planned journal article from the project;
  • Drafting and submitting conference abstracts for two conferences; the Ngā Pae o  te Māramatanga International Indigenous Research Conference (IIRC) in November 2024 and the International Network of Indigenous Health, Knowledge and Development (INIHKD) conference in April 2025; and
  • Planning a writing retreat with the Waikato-based members of the Rapua team scheduled for the end of July.

In addition, the first draft of a Ngāti Hauiti leadership and governance timeline dating back to the early 1800s, was presented by Utiku for feedback and comment by other team members. Utiku will now take this feedback and prepare a further draft for the full team’s consideration at their next hui.

While together, the team also took the opportunity to discuss the next project in our IROC-funded, cultural research programme, that is, te haerenga o Matangi. We considered the many ways in which we can tell the story of this significant pūrākau of Ngāti Hauiti. Ideas ranged from the seemingly simple idea of a storybook, to how we might use the most recent, cutting-edge technology and animations.

The team also met online with colleagues from the Life Course Research Centre (see article here), and  Indigenous Knowledge Institute, University of Melbourne, who have invited Luke to speak about the Rapua project at their upcoming Holders of our Knowledge and Keepers of Our Stories Symposium, 2024. The symposium will be held on World Indigenous Day, 9th July 2024, at the University of Melbourne.

Whakauae has also been invited to participate in a workshop on country with community leaders and mob from Robinvale, VIC, Australia to discuss aspects of environmental protection and preservation, particularly water and waterways and how Indigenous knowledge can be used to make better decisions regarding these precious resources. While there, Utiku will deliver a presentation on te taiao specifically as it relates to wai Māori. We are keen to continue discussions about how our two centres can collaborate around these issues, given our recent strategic decision to explore the relationship between heath and taiao. A delegation from Whakauae will travel to Victoria to support Luke during his presentation; participate in the water workshop and meet with LCC staff to consider opportunities for collaborative project work.

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