Wānanga: By Māori, for Māori with Pākehā

Year: 2018

Author: Postlethwaite, Miriama

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Wānanga are recognised as tertiary institutions under section 162 of the Education Act 1989.  As such, wānanga are regarded as the peers of universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education. Under the Act: A wānanga is characterised by teaching and research that maintains, advances, and disseminates knowledge and develops intellectual independence, and assists the application of knowledge regarding āhuatanga Māori (Māori tradition) according to tikanga Māori (Māori custom). There are currently three wānanga recognised under the Act.  In the education system of New Zealand, a wānanga is a publicly owned tertiary institution that provides education in a Māori cultural context. As of 2009, wānanga offer certificates, diplomas, and bachelor-level degrees, with one wānanga Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, providing programmes in specialized areas at the doctorate level. Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi upholds and affirms Te Tiriti o Waitangi in its role as a partner with the Crown in the delivery of learning and education programmes. The spirit of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is expressed by the Wānanga through encouraging its staff, students and community to grow a sense of pride in, and an identity with, the cultural heritage of tangata whenua (Indigenous people). All programmes are based on āhuatanga Māori and under the Act, exercise their right and mana to determine the essence and ethos of its own pedagogy and identity with the spirit of the Te Tiriti (The Treaty). Ᾱhuatanga Māori is about our own way of teaching and own research practices that should result in Māori maintaining, advancing and disseminating knowledge and at the same time, help student develop intellectual independence (Mead, 2013). This type of education is far-reaching transforming not individuals, but whole communities.