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The Centre for Neuroendocrinology (CNE) recognises the significance of engagement with Māori communities and embracing Māori language and culture. As a result, we have taken proactive steps by creating the Equity and Diversity Forum | Te Ohu Matahuhua ( TOM ), aimed at promoting inclusivity and fostering stronger connections with Māori communities.

Made up of researchers, technical staff, academic staff and students, the group is passionate about its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. The kaupapa as a collective is to promote diversity, educate, and to advocate for and offer support to all CNE staff and students.

The name Te Ohu Matahuhua was kindly gifted to the Forum by Arianna Nisa-Waller (Kōhatu – Centre for Hauora Māori) on 23 September 2022, and can be translated as “a collective of diverse minds” or “a multi-faceted group”. The literal meaning of these words is “forum, commune, or collective (ohu), “front, face, surface” (mata), and “abundant, numerous” (huhua).

In a presentation marking the gift of the name, Arianna described her thinking, saying the meaning of matahuhua (“diverse, multifaceted”, also used to describe the art form “cubism”) reflected the kaupapa of the group to embrace and represent diversity, in a multi-faceted manner.

She hoped that the name would remind  members to keep working towards more inclusivity in the widest possible sense. She said that striving for diversity always came with a certain level of discomfort but recommended that we embrace and acknowledge this discomfort, as it is a symptom and confirmation of being in the process of becoming inclusive.

Centre for Neuroendocrinology staff and students pose for a group photo during a pōwhiri at Araiteuru Marae.

Centre for Neuroendocrinology staff and students during a pōwhiri at Araiteuru Marae.

TOM overview

TOM promotes diverse cultures and perspectives by:

  • offering resources to staff to increase their use of te reo Māori and other languages;
  • fostering collaborations with researchers from diverse fields;
  • encouraging Māori, Pacific and other minority groups in student and staff recruitment.

TOM upskills staff in areas where it would benefit their practice, by:

  • promoting existing initiatives and resources for staff professional development;
  • Hosting tohunga (experts) to deliver workshops on diverse cultures, sexualities, and abilities.

TOM fosters active engagement with the University and wider community, by:

  • collaborating with similar entities in other departments;
  • having a presence at the current School of Biomedical Sciences' outreach initiatives;
  • establishing relationships with stakeholders, including secondary schools, departments, community groups and student associations.

Contact TOM

Chair of TOM

Kōrero by Sally Knox, Communications Adviser, School of Biomedical Sciences, with thanks to Dr Michel Herde of the CNE.

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