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Excitement is building at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga as we draw closer to our 10th International Indigenous Research Conference in November. The online conference will bring together Indigenous researchers, knowledge-holders and practitioners from around the world to reflect, share, plan, innovate and get inspired. We are delighted to confirm that Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta - the only woman and Indigenous person to ever hold the portfolio - will be our opening speaker. Abstracts have now closed and we look forward to sharing more about the programme in coming months.
The NPM whānau was thrilled to witness the landmark celebration of Matariki unfold across Aotearoa, cementing mātauranga as a core part of our national identity. Many of us tuned in to watch the pre-dawn ceremony that took place at Te Papa Tongarewa to welcome the star cluster Matariki (also known as Pleiades) that heralds the beginning of the Māori New Year.
The countdown is on for our flagship event, the International Indigenous Research Conference (IIRC), which will be held in virtual mode from November 14–18. IIRC is whanaungatanga at its best, bringing together scholars, knowledge-holders, practitioners and decision makers from across Aotearoa and the Indigenous world to share, reflect, and celebrate. The NPM secretariat has been a hive of activity, making arrangements and confirming keynote speakers and panels. Watch this space for future announcements on our exciting programme of speakers and the call for abstracts.
The last month has been an exciting period of renewal for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga with the addition of two wonderful wāhine to our team.
Dr Kiri Edge has been appointed to the newly created role of Pouhere Rangahau (Research Leader), and Professor Melinda Webber is the incoming Chair of our Komiti Rangahau (Research Committee). Melinda takes over from Professor Huia Jahnke who served 6 years as Chair. We feel very fortunate to have Melinda and Kiri join NPM - you can read more about them later in this e-pānui.
Welcome to our first e-pānui of 2022! The year started with a bang, with former NPM Co-Director Professor Jacinta Ruru being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Māori and the law. Ngā mihi nui Jacinta!
Tērā ia ngā hihi kanapa o te rā
Karangahia e te hikuwai o te tau
Me ngā pō roa o te matiti
E kai ō mata ki te puanga
Ki te manahua o te Pohutukawa
Ānana, e te raumati nau mai rā
Whiringa-ā-rangi–Hakihea - the months of November and December - is when the magnificent bloom of the pohutukawa grace our shores, kina (sea urchin) are fat and ready to eat, and whānau look forward to spending time together.
But this year has been a year like no other.
Whiringa-ā-nuku has been a busy month for the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga team, many of whom continue to work from home in Tāmaki and Waikato. Concern over the increasing COVID-19 case numbers and the challenges of lockdown - particularly for those living alone or with young tamariki - has amplified the importance of providing pastoral care to colleagues and tauira. We are always grateful for the courage and commitment of those working tirelessly to keep our whānau and workplaces safe.
The month of September - known to many as Mahuru - is a time of regrowth, rebirth and renewal, marking the first phase of summer in the maramataka (Māori Lunar Calendar), and the beginning of spring in the Gregorian calendar. There are many tohu, or signs, associated with Mahuru (September) in Aotearoa - from the flowing of inanga (whitebait) and the tangi of the pīpīwharauroa (call of the Shining cuckoo), to the appearance of spring lambs and garden blooms.
The month of August - Ākuhata - also known as Hereturikōkā or Here o Pipiri - is the time of our maramataka where conditions are optimal for planting and fishing. It is a time for grounding, and to be in close connection with Papatūānuku.
The current national lockdown has grounded most of us, the non-essentials of the motu, in ways that were unanticipated before the previous lockdown. However, the Delta-variant has brought uncertainty and concern—having seen its impact on the international stage.
Matariki - marking the beginning of the Māori New Year - is an opportunity to pause and reflect: to take stock of the year that has been, to remember those that have passed, and to look ahead.
For Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM), the past year has been one of upheaval and change as we have all had to come to terms with living and working in a global pandemic.