Kō Tinana te waka
Kō Whangatauatia te maunga
Kō Roma te marae
Kō Te Rarawa me Ngāpuhi ngā iwi
Kō Hinekura Smith te ingoa
23 June 2021
Continuing to propel the revitalisation of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga is what drives Dr Hinekura Smith (Te Rārawa, Ngāpuhi) .
Ngā Wai a Te Tūī are excited to welcome Hinekura into their whānau where she plans to continue asserting the mana of kaupapa Māori research methodology.
“An exciting piece of work I bring with me is my role on the research leadership team of Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga, The Centre of Research Excellence for Māori. My role is to facilitate Te Kupenga o MAI the national Māori and Indigenous doctoral network which focuses on supporting post graduate students which spans from the far north to Otago in the South Island.”
Hinekura has been a teacher and advocate of te reo Māori throughout her career and joins Ngā Wai a Te Tūī after spending more than a decade at The University of Auckland as a Kaupapa Maori education researcher. Her core focus being the continued reclamation and revitalisation of Maori language, culture and identity through education - particularly for Maori women and children.
She plans to further explore the intricate similarities and differences of education and knowledge of our Pacific whanaunga in her work at Unitec.
“I have a particular intrerest in our closest whanaunga, our Pasifika fanau, I’ve done some writing on the last 30-40 years of Māori research which highlighted a lot of connections made with Hawaii and North America. In doing so we’Ve quite literally flown over our closest research whanaunga in the Pacifc.
Hinekura believes its timely and important to further explore the knowledge and paradigms of our closest neighbours across Te Moana nui a Kiwa, including our Australian indigenous neighbours on the eastern coastline.
“We have whakapapa, reo,histories and stories that inherently connect us all. However, when we place those ideas in the context of higher education we’re often problematically lumped together and you see it everywhere when we are refered to as ‘Maori and Pasifika students, workers, families, colleagues’, but I believe we as our own people need to decide and confirm our own relationships.”
Dr Hinekura Smith says she will continue to explore Vaka Moana using an inter-institutional Oceanic research fellowship with the aim of further enhancing Māori and Pasifika student success and retention in tertiary education.