Hoki atu ki tōu maunga kia purea ai e koe ki ngā hau o Tāwhirimātea – Return to your mountain to be cleansed by the winds of Tāwhirimātea
An important way of healing and grounding ourselves in times of crisis is to return to our mountains, our rivers, and our whenua to replenish ourselves as mana whenua. During COVID-19 we were cut off from accessing this particular practice. However, out of that emerged new and creativeways of thinking about and reconnecting to our whenua, whilst maintaining our physical distance. The aim of this research is to explore the question: In what new and creative ways did uri of Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa return to their whenua and retain their connectedness to the healing aspects of taiao through COVID-19?
To explore the research question, five interviews with uri of Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa will be conducted to better understand various strategies used to retain their sense of mana whenua and connectedness to te taiao through a global pandemic. The interviews will reflect inter-generational voices and will be drawn from different bodies of mātauranga knowledge. Throughout the interviews we will be exploring reconnection through the range of senses such as taste, touch, sight, sounds, ihi, wehi, wana, and wairua. Following the interview process, the interviews will be produced into podcasts and a short film, creating resources to be shared through various social media platforms.
Dr Pauline Hiroti is a researcher for Te Rūnanga O Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa. Pauline also leads various community dance initiatives and projects with rangatahi. Her research interests include dance education, community dance, Kaupapa Māori research, and decolonizing arts practices.