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Te Takarangi showcases Māori research

Wednesday 12 September 2018 10:26pm

Professor Jacinta Ruru (left) and Research Fellow Jeanette Wikaira showcased 150 non-fiction books by Maori authors on social media as part of the Te Takarangi Project.

“I’m going to go broke buying all these books.”

That’s just a taste of the positive feedback three Otago academics have had to the Te Takarangi Project they’ve been running on social media since February.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2017, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) Co-Director Professor Jacinta Ruru of Law, NPM Research Fellow Jeanette Wikaira and Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla of History and Art History have showcased 150 non-fiction books by Māori authors each weekday on Te Apārangi’s Facebook page and Twitter.

Te Takarangi also marks NPM’s 15th anniversary as New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence.

"It’s been a highly engaged social media campaign. It’s really inspiring to see on a daily basis new books coming up."

”We wanted to create something positive around Māori research and scholarship, to speak back to the notion that Māori are new to research and to show there is a real depth in Māori research right back to the first book published in 1815,” Professor Ruru says .

Information on each book is also published on the society’s website, with the final profile appearing on Friday 14 September, the last day of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week).

Professor Ruru says the project has been widely shared and has also resulted in working with the Hocken Collections and National Library to ensure they have copies of all the books and in some cases digitised copies.

“It’s been a highly engaged social media campaign. It’s really inspiring to see on a daily basis new books coming up.”

Focusing on non-fiction research publications, the collection provides an overview of Māori scholarship, including books by important university scholars and iwi leaders.

“It’s a reminder of the importance of Māori thinking and writing that has occurred in Aotearoa since that first Te Reo Māori publication in 1815.”

The next stage of the project is to take the collection on tour. First stop is the launch in Parliament on 16 October, hosted by the Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta. In November, it will feature at the International Indigenous Research Conference in Auckland.

Te Takarangi’s organisers plan to bring the collection to Otago in 2019 as part of the University’s 150th celebrations, highlighting the many books that are written by Otago staff and alumni.