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Kia puāwaitia ngā tūmanako: Critical issues for whānau in Māori education

Authors: Jessica Hutchings, Alex Barnes, Katrina Taupo, Nicola Bright with Leonie Pihama and Jenny Lee 

This report presents the findings of a kaupapa Māori research project called Critical Issues for Whanau in Maori Education. We asked a variety of whānau the question: What sorts of educational research would be of benefit to your children and whānau in education? The aim was to use the whānau responses to refine a Māori-led and whānau-informed research agenda for Te Wāhanga. Whānau are integral to the educational wellbeing of Māori students. Yet little educational research has been done with an explicit whānau focus. This research aimed to help fill the gap.  For this project we aim to explore: 

  • What are the critical issues for whānau in education?
  • What do whānau want for their tamariki and mokopuna?
  • What facilitates these visions from education, what counter these visions?
  • What do we need to know more about to facilitate the outcomes that whānau want from education?

We used the kaupapa Māori approach of whānaungatanga and the method of kōrero ā-whānau to work directly with whānau in ways that upheld their integrity and authority. Kōrero ā-whānau ensures the voices and day to day experiences of whānau in education are heard. It acknowledges their diverse priorities and aspirations.

Three overarching themes connected the many issues raised by whānau. These are Ngā Moemoeā (whānau aspirations), Rangatiratanga (whānau autonomy and authority) and Te Reo Rangatira (learning and maintenance of reo Māori)