Otago Polytechnic

The Otago Polytechnic symposium on Thursday 3 December 2020 showcased Māori research on a wide range of issues concerned with human and environmental wellbeing. 

Theme: Kaitiakitaka: Te Tai Ao and Te Ao Hurihuri | Guardian Protectors of Our Environment and Ever Changing World

The objectives of this Symposium were to: 

  • nurture research conduced by Māori staff and students - that is, research undertaken by Māori, for Māori, or with Māori 
  • provide opportunities to share Māori research fields and expertise 
  • showcase and celebrate the depth and breadth of Māori-led or Māori-partnered research conducted at Otago Polytechnic and across Aotearoa. 

This is the third Māori symposium hosted by the Polytechnic, following on from the inaugral Tā Moko Symposium held in 2014 and Mauri Ora Symposium held in 2018. 

The Kaitiakitaka theme includes: 

  • Te Tai Ao - Environment 
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi - Treaty of Waitangi 
  • Te Hurihuri o Te Ao - Our Changing World 

Kaitiakitaka has been described as guardianship, stewardship or custodianship. The various meanings of ‘tiaki’ centre around the notion of guarding, protecting and conserving, therefore a ‘kaitiaki’ is someone who guards, protects or conserves. The addition of the suffix –‘taka’ (the Kāi Tahu dialectal equivalent of ‘-tanga’) changes the verb into an abstract noun, and so ‘kaitiakitaka’ is the concept of guardianship, protection and conservation that is threaded through Māori social, cultural, economic and spiritual systems that were established through iwi and hapū association with their environments. In contemporary times, kaitiakitaka can relate to the notion of sustainability, protecting that which we regard as ‘taoka’ (that which we treasure and hold dear to us).


8.30am  Mihi whakatau
9.00am Registrations
9.30am MC: Rāniera Dallas

  • Opening address: Dr Megan Gibbons (CEO, Otago Polytechnic Limited)
  • Keynote speaker: Associate Professor Carla Houkamau


Associate Professor Carla Houkamau 
Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu

Carla Houkamau is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management and International Business and the Associate Dean Maori at Auckland University Business School. Carla currently leads the most extensive longitudinal study of Māori identity, financial attitudes and behaviour (Te Rangahau o Te Tuakiri Māori me Ngā Waiaro ā-Pūtea | The Māori Identity and Financial Attitudes Study) for which she received a Marsden Award in 2015. You can find out more about Carla's collaborative research programme here.


Poster presentation (available all day)

  • Mia Morgan and Tapuwa Marapara: The Application of the Cultural Health Index (CHI) and the use of scientific data to assess the quality of three fresh water bodies

20 minute oral presentations

Stream Tahi (in The Hub) - Chair, Kelli Te Maihāroa

  • Jenny Lee-Morgan and Eruera Lee-Morgan: Puni Reo: Normalising te reo Māori in Poitarawhiti
  • Tepora Emery, Fiona Cram, Beverley Te Huia, Reti Reo Fox, Tiopira Te Huia, Kathleen Morrison, Violet Aydon-Pou, Zack Makoare, Tk Pohatu, Morehu Munro: Popoia te Kākano kia Puawai & He kaupapa rangahau i te ao hurihuri

Stream Rua (in G201) - Chair, Ron Bull

  • Vicki Rangitautehanga Murray: Tē toki tangatanga i te rā
  • Te Urikore Biddle and Jane Caffery: Te Kete Hikitia
  • Fallyn Flavell, Dell Raerino, Heather Hamerton: Students’ Motivations to learn te reo Māori

Stream Toru (in G204) - Chair, Rachel Dibble

  • Rau Hoskins: Urban Intergenerational Kainga Innovations: Culturally responsive mare-based housing solutions
  • Rihi Te Nana and Hermione Keepa: Hihiko o Mangarautawhiri - Power sovereignty for a prosperous whānau and hapū
  • Shirley Lyford: Know then thy place- the place of the settler in the creation and dissemination of indigenous knowledge

Stream Whā (in G323) - Chair, James Sutherland

  • Sally Baddock: Motivators and barriers to breastfeeding in a mainly Māori community in New Zealand
  • Charmaine Tukua: Ko te Haruru o Rūaumoko – The Impact of the 22nd Feb 2011 Earthquake on Teaching & Learning 10 years later
  • Charmaine Tukua, et al: Preparing Them - Autonomous Learning and Teaching Experiences by Four Language Educators in New Zealand

12noon Lunch break (The Hub) - Hāngī


15/20 minute oral presentations

Stream Tahi (in The Hub) - Chair, Kelli Te Maihāroa

  • Haki Keogh: Tangata whenuatanga: Whenua vs. Property
  • Mere Kepa, Nina Matenga, Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn, and Dr Benjamin Pittman: Whakaora ngā whenua whāma: Utilising mātauranga Māori and western science to protect and restore the soil on rural farms in Te Tai Tokerau

Stream Rua (in G201) - Chair, Ron Bull

  • Tepora Emory: Arā ko ngā kupu tuku iho o te Ahi Kaa He hononga whenua,he hononga wai, he hononga tangata | Those who keep the home fires hold the knowledge connections between the land, the waters and the people
  • Kim Penetito and Ngahuia Eruera: Marae Ora Kainga Ora (MOKO): Marae-based research methodology

Stream Toru (in G204) - Chair, Rachel Dibble

  • Adrian Woodhouse: Cultural Retention and Revitalisation within Kaupapa Māori Research: The Role of Contemporary Creative Expression
  • Kelly Pender: How Kaupapa Māori and Pūrākau methodologies guided a scholarly journey
  • Rachel Dibble: When the River Wakes

Stream Whā (in G323) - Chair, James Sutherland

  • Marcus Tuwairua: The Whakapapa of Tīeke / Saddleback (Philesturnus caraculatus) Translocations since the 1960’s
  • Jarrod Matchitt: Determining growth rates of Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Brown trout (Salmo trutta) in lakes Te Anau, Manapouri, Poteriteri and the Upper Waiau River

2.00pm Keynote speaker: Dr Eruera Tarena

Dr Eruera Tarena 
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāi Tūāhuriri) 

Eruera is Executive Director for Tokona te Raki: Māori Futures Collective, a Ngāi Tahu-led futures lab to empower rangatahi to realise the future of their dreams and influence partners to transform how they engage rangatahi and their whānau. The lab shares future focused insights so rangatahi can determine their own future, equip them with the tools to lead change and connects them with partners so they are designing systems that work for them.

Currently Eruera is involved in a range of data projects mapping our current education systems performance for Māori (mapping barriers/boosters), mapping rangatahi journeys through education/employment and a range of projects focused on the future of work for Māori and preparing for the transition to a future skills-based economy. A key part of this work is training a cohort of rangatahi future makers to lead the transformation and designing from the future.

Eruera is also a Ministerial appointee to Te Taumata Aronui and Te Māngai Pāho.  

3.00pm Mihi haere and koha haere


A videorecording of the speakers in the Hub is available, i.e. for the keynote speakers, and speakers in Stream Tahi. (Note: the sound recording only begins at the 24 minute mark.)