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Cultures, Communities and Design

Poipoia te Kākano, Kia Puāwai – Enabling Māori community researchers to examine the meaning of home
F. Cram et al.
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


The objective of the ‘Poipoia te kākano, kia puāwai’ research programme is to enable mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) about housing solutions that work for Māori to blossom by nurturing research that is by, with and for whānau (family), hapū (subtribe), Iwi (tribe) and Māori communities. A definition of success for this programme is that housing stories that are told by, with, and for the communities involved. This telling of their own stories is about mana motuhake, or Māori self-determination, over housing research priorities, methodologies, and the utilization of research findings. In this way the science and mātauranga of Māori housing, homes, places and people can be built and strengthened for Māori vitality and sustainability. Success is also defined as the strengthening of the research capabilities of all involved in this research programme as each person will bring their kete (basket) of skills and expertise to the ‘table’ to share with others. In this way, we will all be tuakana (senior) as well as teina (junior), depending on the knowledge that is being shared and the knowledge that this being learned. Four community research projects are exploring the experiences of older Māori who have returned to their tribal homes, the development of papakāinga (village) housing on Māori land, the restoration of wetlands, and Māori caretaking roles for the land and the sea. In our presentation we will introduce the research projects that are part of the programme, discuss our community-based, Indigenous research methodologies, and talk about the importance of the research and our findings for informing our communities’ thinking about housing and the meaning of home.


Violet Aydon-Pou has spent almost 30 years in education, working predominantly at the ‘grassroots’ level. She has her MA in Social Sciences, been a Fulbright Scholar, and now holds a RTLB (Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour) position serving schools in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. In her spare time, Violet works with and supports Kathleen to prepare funding applications, Wetland Restoration Progress Reports for whānau as well as funding organisations, and to network with suppliers.

Fiona Cram (Ngāti Pāhauwera, Pākehā) has produced one son, as well as a PhD from the University of Otago (Social and Developmental Psychology). She has over 25 years of Kaupapa Māori (by, with and for Māori) research and evaluation experience with Māori and Iwi organisations and communities, as well as with government agencies, district health boards, and philanthropic organisations. A large portion of this work involves the pursuit of decolonisation, Māori sovereignty, and societal transformation.

Tepora Emery is a kaupapa Māori researcher and evaluator, and a teacher. Belonging to Ngāti Pikiao, Rangiwewehi and Whakaue (Te Arawa waka), and Ngāti Unu, Ngāti Kahu ki Maniapoto (Tainui waka) Tepora has a long record of private and public service, in both lead and supporting roles, across a diverse range of whānau-hapū, iwi, hāpori and Government projects. Tepora is the kaupapa Māori research advisor at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and a Principal Lecturer in adult teacher education. The role includes leading and supporting research, evaluation and professional development work both inside the organisation with ākonga, staff and colleagues, and outside of the organisation with whānau, hapū, iwi and community groups.

Zack Makoare has a vision of better housing for his whānau and hapū, living on-site at Puke Aute Te Hauke Heretaunga ki Ngāti Kahungunu Papakāinga whenua. On the personal side, he’s 60yrs old, been married 40yrs, and has 11 mokopuna. He established Te Tai Timu Trust 20 yrs ago, around a kaupapa of wellbeing. The Trust works collaboratively with Mahue-Pera Trust, providing a koha of time and space for Ngā Mokopuna o Ngā Tīpuna. He firmly believes that it takes a village to raise a child, and he is committed to the establishment of “Te Pā Oranga’, a place of wellness within the Papakāinga.

Kathleen Morrison is a conservationist/Kaitiaki who, alongside of Violet Pou, has designed and planned Te Kinakina Wetlands Restoration Project. She comes from an artistic background with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in photography and years of experience as a graphic designer. Having spent the last 10 years living on Te Kinakina, she is now dedicating her time to project manage the wetlands restoration including: the initial design and function of the wetland areas, funding applications, planting schedules, sourcing trees and plants, liaising with community groups, and managing contractors.

Morehu Munro is well-known and connected within the Te Wairoa community, as evidenced by the people he engaged with phase 1 of this research and the endorsement he received for being the researcher going forward. He is a skilled orator (often being called upon to sit on marae paepae) and gentle spirit, with a good understanding of kawa and tikanga and an inquiring mind.

Beverley Te Huia is a midwife and researcher who is well connected into her hapū of Ngāti Mihiroa. She also lives within the community and interacts regularly with the rangatahi who are aspiring researchers within this project. She is a superb mentor and research coordinator for this project.