The Ōtepoti (Dunedin) wānanga was held at Puketeraki Marae, Karitāne 21-23 November 2016. This followed on from the successful Tāmaki wānanga at Hoani Waititi marae in Auckland on the 11th of October. At these two wānangas, researchers and clinicians located in Tāmaki (Auckland) and Ōtepoti (Dunedin) had the opportunity to engage with Māori communities in these regions.
Dr Hinemoa Elder, Māori Strategy Manager for Brain Research New Zealand, provided her insights into the successful Ōtepoti (Dunedin) Wānanga. “E ea ai te werawera o Tāne tahuaroa me heke te werawera o Tāne te wānanga. To properly acknowledge the efforts of the hosts/cooks we must put effort into learning!” Dr Elder explained, “This whakataukī is fitting for the experience of the extraordinary manaaki we received at Puketeraki marae, from the hau kainga and our colleagues from across many disciplines related to the melding of mātauranga and western scientific approaches.
“Tahuaroa is another name for Tangaroa which makes the whakataukī even more significant given the locals connections to Takaroa. E ngā manu ariki whakatakapokai, a Annemarie Jackson me tōna whānau whanui, ko Te Koronga katoa, kei te mihi kāore e ārikarika ki a koutou.
“We were treated to exploration of the sacred maunga Hikaroroa, the moana, waka and awa of the local pepeha, through this experiential shared learning I could see and feel first-hand the gifts we were given and the foundations of relationship being laid down for us. We were shown how to begin these partnership relationships between researchers, practitioners and Māori communities.
“It was great to have two of our Māori summer students there and some senior colleagues. This experience has rekindled my dreams as a young doctor and challenged me to bring those to fruition. My intention is to grow the Rangahau Roro Aotearoa participation in Te Koronga each year, I’ll get the dates confirmed for researchers early so that they can book the 3 days in your diary early so as not to miss out on this extraordinary experience,” she said.