Ahorangi Meihana Durie Professor Meihana Durie

Rangitāne, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki Te Tonga, Ngāti Porou, Rongo Whakaata, Ngāi Tahu

Tumuaki Turuki Māori; Upoko, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori; Head of School, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi

Close-up of Professor Meihana Durie

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Mēnā kotahi te akoranga kua puta i ngā akoranga a Ahorangi Meihana Durie, ko te mana o ngā wheako whare wānanga.

"Ehara i te mea i pērā rawa taku eke i ngā akoranga kura tuarua, ā, i kitea he nui ngā pōrarurarutanga nā te pūnaha mātauranga, ka mātua ko te tauronarona ki ngā marautanga ako nā ētahi atu. Heoi ko te pai, arā ētahi huarahi ako e whai nei te kaupapa Māori me te tikanga Māori, ā, he wāteatea ake hoki.

Nāwai ka whai wāhi atu ahau ki te whare wānanga, nā tēnei ka tino whānui ake ngā pae hei tirotiro māku, he mea i minaminatia, i kaingākautia hoki e au, pēnei i Te Reo Māori me ngā Mātauranga Māori. Nā tēnei i mana ai te wāhi o te kaupapa Māori ki ngā tūāoma mātauranga. Mā roto i te kaupapa ka hua ko ngā tikanga.

Mā roto i aku ake wheako, e mōhio nei ahau ko te whare wānanga he wāhi tipu, kaua mō te takitaki, heoi mō te takitini hoki. Mā te ako me te rangahau tahi ka taea e tātau te whakawhanake i ngā putanga mō ngā whānau, hapū, iwi me ngā hapori o Aotearoa. Ahakoa he taunahua tonu hei tūwhiti mā ētahi, ko tēnei wāhi he wāhi ka tuwhera ngā huarahi hou, huarahi mutunga kore hoki, inā te ingoa, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa."

I a ia e akoako ana i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa i ngā tau o te 1990, i tīmata tā Ahorangi Durie whakahāngai i ana aronga Māori ki ngā kaupapa ahurea, akoranga, auaha hoki, ā, kua tipu hei umanga whai rawa, kanorau hoki.

I a ia e whai ana i tana tohu kairangi e aro ana ki te wāhi o te kawa ki te pāpori o nāianei, i waihanga a Ahorangi Durie i tētahi huinga kaupapa hauora Māori, ko Kawa Oranga ki Te Wānanga o Raukawa ki Ōtaki. Nā tēnei i hua ko Ngā Purapura, he whare hauora, toiora Māori hoki ki Raukawa.

Nā tana whakawhiwhinga ki te tohu Health Research Council Postdoctoral Māori Health Fellowship i whakawhānui a Ahorangi Meihana i āna mahi rangahau kia aro ki te hauora rangatahi, whānau hoki me te aria o te puāwaitanga. I auraki anō ia ki Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa i te tau 2017 kia tū hei upoko i Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, te kura mātauranga Māori, ā, i kopoua ia hei Tumuaki Māori i te tau 2020.

Kua tino haumako te whai mātauranga a Ahorangi Druie – ā, i tītaha – nā tōna ngākau nui ki te ao kiriata. I waenganui i ētahi atu kaupapa, i te tau 2008, i tohu-takirua ia i te kiriata poto o “Warbrick”, i whai i te mutunga o te haerenga a te kapa Whutupōro Māori ki Piritana Nui i te tau 1888.

E whakapono nei ia ko ngā kiriata Māori ka tuku pae hei tuari i ngā kōrero a ngā tāngata whenua, ā, e manako ana ia ka tautokoria ētahi huarahi hou mō ērā e hiahia ana ki te whai i ētahi huarahi rite mā roto i ngā akoranga i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa.

"Ko te ao kiriata, ehara i te mea me ako rawa ki ngā kura kiriata, ka taea hoki te ako ki ngā pae tini, kanorau hoki o ngā akoranga mātauranga maha. He nui ā mātau kaimahi whai pūkenga kei Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa e whai pūkenga motuhake ana, pūkenga e hiahiatia ana, pūkenga hoki i ēnei mahi me ētahi mahi kē atu. Kua tīmata tā mātau whakarerekē i tō mātau āhua whakaako i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa kia taea ai e ā mātau tauira te toro ki ētahi atu mahi kē atu e hiahiatia ana, e hāngai ana hoki ki ō rātau tūāoma."

Mō Ahorangi Durie, nā te ngaru tauira hou e uru ana ki ngā whare wānanga, kua wā whakahirahira te mahi i ēnei mahi. Ko te mahi, hei tāna, ko te whakawhanake tonu i ngā mahi i mahia ai e ngā pūkenga Māori me ngā kaiārahi kua para i te huarahi mō ngā mātauranga Māori, ngā Kaupapa Māori hoki i ngā whare ako o te motu, me te para huarahi hou hoki.

"Ko te hua o ngā whakahoutanga i te mātauranga Māori i ākina e ngā mahi a ngā pūkenga Māori, i whakatinanatia hoki ki roto i ngā kaupapa pēnei i te Kaupapa Māori, ko te tipu haere o ngā whānau, ko ētahi e rua, e toru whakatipuranga rānei kua tae mai ki te whare wānanga kua tipu ki Te Ao Māori.

Ka mauria mai hoki e rātau ētahi wheako motuhake – ā-akoranga, ā-ahurea, ā-taiao, ā-pāpori hoki. Me whai whakaaro tonu tātau ki te anamata, me auaha hoki i tā tātau rapu huarahi kia haumako ai ō rātau tūāoma mā roto i ngā wheako whare wānanga. Ka ōrua ki tēnei ko te waihangatanga o tētahi wāhi, me ētahi huarahi mō ērā e rapu wheako ana. Ko ā mātau koha ka āwhina i a rātau kia pōtaetia māiatia, mōhiotia hoki i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa kia tūhono, kia whai wāhi hoki ki Te Ao Māori me Te Ao Whānui."

He matakitetanga tā Ahorangi Durie mō ngā huarahi ki Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa. Ko te pōhiri i ngā huarahi tini hei whakautu i ngā hiahia, ngā wawata me ngā taiao noho Māori hou o ngā whānau e tere panoni nei he manapou. E kite nei ia i ētahi huarahi ako hou puta noa i te whare wānanga e hāngai ana ki ngā ara ako ā-whānau, me te whai i ētahi akomanga kaupapa Māori, mātauranga Māori hoki – heoi ka tūhono hoki ki ētahi akomanga whānui kei te whare wānanga.

Me mātua aro hoki ki te poipoi i ngā ākonga mā roto i ngā uara o te manaakitanga me te whanaungatanga. E whakapono nei a Ahorangi Durie ko te whakarenarena taura here tangata i waenganui i a Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa me ngā whānau, hapū, iwi, hapori hoki he mahi nui mā nga kaimahi.

Ko te tautoko whānui a ngā pūkenga, me ngā kaimahi ngaio o Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa he manapou ki te kawe i ngā ākonga i roto i ō rātau tūāoma i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa. Ka mahi ngā kaimahi ki te tuku āwhina ako, ārahitanga ahurea me te tautoko ki ngā mea pēnei i ngā karahipi. Ko te whakaarotau o Ahorangi Durie ko te whakawhānui it e toro o Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa puta noa i a Aotearoa, me te whakanui tonu i te hītori angitū o Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa mō Ngāi Māori.

"Ka tika kia toro atu tātou ki te nukuroa o te whenua, kia piki tonu ai te rahinga o te iwi Māori e tae mai ana, kia whai hui ai te iwi i ngā huarahi mātauranga kei Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa kia pūawaitia rātou, ā, tutuki noa."

Mā te whakatutuki i tēnei, e manako ana ia, ka nui atu te hunga ka tūhurua i ngā mana whakatiketike o te whare wānanga mō rātau anō.

If Professor Meihana Durie’s journey in education has taught him anything, it’s how powerful the university experience can be.

"I wasn’t a high achiever academically at secondary school and found the education system to be a source of immense frustration, especially having to grapple with a curriculum of learning prescribed by others. Thankfully, there are now educational pathways in place that are driven by kaupapa and tikanga Māori and offer greater flexibility.

Eventually finding my way to University gave me a far broader platform to explore areas of high interest and importance to me including Te Reo Māori and Mātauranga Māori more broadly. In doing so it also helped reaffirm the place of kaupapa in educational journeys. With kaupapa, tikanga can emerge.

So from my personal experience, I know that university can be a site of transformation, not only for individuals, but in the collective sense as well. Teaching and research together, can advance outcomes for whānau, hapū, iwi and communities across Aotearoa. While there are still too many barriers around access for our people that need to be overcome, this is a place that opens up new realities and infinite possibilities, hence the name, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa."

As a student at Massey in the 1990s, Professor Durie began to channel his interests across all things Māori into the cultural, academic and creative projects that have now grown into a rich and varied career.

While undertaking a PhD on the place of Māori ritual in contemporary society, Professor Durie developed a suite of Māori health programmes, Kawa Oranga, at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki. That led to the establishment of Ngā Purapura, a Māori health and wellbeing facility, also at Raukawa.

As the recipient of a Health Research Council Postdoctoral Māori Health Fellowship, Professor Durie widened his research to include rangatahi and whānau centred wellbeing, and the notion of flourishing or te puawaitanga. He then returned to Massey in 2017 to take over as head of Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, the School of Māori Knowledge, and became Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori in 2020.

Professor Durie's academic journey has been enriched – and occasionally diverted – by his longstanding interests in Māori cinema. Among other projects, in 2008, he co-directed a short film, “Warbrick”, which captures the final moments in the New Zealand Māori rugby team’s tour of the UK in 1888.

Māori cinema is an area he believes brings with it a platform upon which to share the stories of tangata whenua and he hopes to help support new opportunities for those who might aspire to pursue similar pathways by way of study at Massey.

"Cinema, as one example, does not have to be taught solely film school, it can sit across many broad and diverse areas of academic studies. We have many talented staff here at Massey with unique skills, sought after expertise and outstanding capacity in these and other areas. We are beginning to evolve the nature of what and how we teach at Massey so that our students might have far greater flexibility to build in areas of interest of relevance to their journeys."

For Professor Durie, with a new wave of Māori students entering university, now is an exciting time to be doing this work. The job, as he sees it, is to help build on the efforts of preeminent Māori scholars and leaders who have made space for mātauranga Māori and kaupapa Māori in the country’s educational institutions, but to also help forge new pathways.

"The earlier transformations in Māori education spurred on through the work of Māori academics and enacted through movements such Kaupapa Māori, means that we now have a growing number of whānau, second and third generation in some cases, who are coming to our university having been raised and taught in Te Ao Māori.

They also bring a totally distinctive set of experiences – educationally, culturally, environmentally and socially. We must continue to be forward-thinking and creative in finding ways to use the university experience to add richness to that journey. At the same time, we want to create the space and the opportunities for those who come to us in search of those experiences. Our contribution can help them graduate from Massey with the confidence and assuredness to engage and participate readily in both Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Whānui."

Professor Durie has a vision for Māori academic pathways at Massey. Embracing multidisciplinary approaches and responding to the rapidly-evolving nature of whānau needs, aspirations and contemporary Māori realities will be key. He sees opportunities for greater breadth of study pathways across the University within whānau-centred pedagogies, and taking core courses grounded in kaupapa and mātauranga Māori – but combined with courses across the wider spectrum of university studies.

Just as important, though, is the need to nurture students through expression of the values of manaakitanga (generosity and support) and whakawhanaungatanga (connectedness). Professor Durie believes building strong and enduring connections between Massey University and whānau, hapū, iwi and communities is a critical part of the work his staff undertake.

It’s the wider support from both academic and professional staff at Massey that is also a critical impetus for carrying many students on their journeys at Massey. Staff work to provide everything from academic advice, cultural leadership and guidance to areas such as scholarship opportunities. Professor Durie’s priority is to expand the reach of Massey across Aotearoa, and to further enhance Massey’s proud tradition of Māori excellence.

"Ka tika kia toro atu tātou ki te nukuroa o te whenua, kia piki tonu ai te rahinga o te iwi Māori e tae mai ana, kia whai hui ai te iwi i ngā huarahi mātauranga kei Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa kia pūawaitia rātou, ā, tutuki noa.

We must continue to keep reaching out across the width and breadth of Aotearoa, and to strive for greater levels of access by whānau into our institution so that they can benefit from the opportunities Massey provides, and flourish in their time here with us."

Achieving this reach, he hopes, will mean many more people can discover the transforming power of university for themselves.

Read Professor Meihana Durie's academic profile

Professor Meihana Durie's photo

Professor Meihana Durie

Rangitāne, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa Te Au ki Te Tonga, Ngāti Porou, Rongo Whakaata, Ngāi Tahu

PhD

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori; Head of School, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, Te Putahi-a-Toi, Manawatū campus