Otago Polytechnic

2019 ITP Research Symposium

We are delighted to share the abstracts from the 2019 ITP Research Symposium: Whanaungatanga – Community Centred Research. The symposium was co-hosted by Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and Otago Polytechnic, and was held at the EIT Taradale campus.

Our selection of whanaungatanga as a core theme for the symposium, with a focus on community centred research, reflected the unique contribution Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) make to knowledge creation and cultural development in New Zealand; as centres of applied research and creativity, engaging with a broad range of communities across New Zealand. Whanaungatanga both embraces our sense of close connection between people, our kinship spanning Aotearoa New Zealand, and our deep commitment to Te Ao Māori in all facets of our activity.

When we first communicated the call for abstracts, we were nervous as to how many papers we would receive. We should not have worried. The response to our call was overwhelming. Researchers, lecturers, artists and performers from 14 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) communicated their interest in contributing to the conference. Over 80 abstracts were received and peer reviewed. In addition, we were fortunate to be able to host three outstanding keynote speakers: Hörður Torfason, the Icelandic artivist, who discussed artivist methods; Associate Professor Carla Houkamau from The University of Auckland, who discussed the ways in which identity and culture shape Māori economic value; and Distinguished Professor Sally Morgan from Massey University who discussed the creative arts as research. In addition, Professor Matthew Marshall from EIT, with Dame Kate Harcourt and Sir Jon Trimmer (narrators), Tessa Petersen (violin) and Heleen du Plessis (cello) presented a concert: It’s Love Isn’t It? featuring compositions by Philip Norman, Anthony Ritchie, Mauro Giuliani and poetry by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Meg Campbell.

 During the conference our participants presented papers spanning four key themes, each of which is of significant interest to ITPs in New Zealand: community health and wellbeing which encompassed a broad range of papers examining our applied research focusing on enhancing wellbeing in our communities; engaged arts which encompassed both exhibitions by artists working at ITPs across New Zealand and papers examining the arts in New Zealand; inspired teaching and learning which explored the development of teaching from early childhood to tertiary teaching; and sustainable environments which explored the key role played by ITPs in the sustainable development of our regions. Kaupapa Māori research was embedded within each of the streams.

Overall, the symposium provided a wonderful insight into the unique contribution ITPs make to research in New Zealand and demonstrated the richness and breadth of research undertaken by ITPs in New Zealand. We would like to thank all those who participated in and contributed to the Symposium.

Professor Leoni Schmidt, Otago Polytechnic

Associate Professor Jonathan Sibley, EIT