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Poutama Ara Rau

The Poutama Ara Rau Research Theme grew out of conversations among Māori academics following the outstanding accomplishments of Associate Professor Karyn Paringatai and Professor Suzanne Pitama, with both of them being the recipients of Teaching Tertiary Excellence Awards for Kaupapa Māori and the Prime Minister's Supreme Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014 and 2015, and then Professor Jacinta Ruru winning this national Supreme Award in 2016.

Our name, Poutama Ara Rau derives from the whakataukī: Tangaroa ara rau; Tangaroa of many paths. Literally this can be understood as ‘poutama’ (a set of steps), ‘ara’ (pathway), and ‘rau’ (many). Holistically, Poutama Ara Rau is the philosophy that we've chosen to guide this Research Theme. That is, there are many pathways of learning, teaching and understanding that can be taken and shared with each other to achieve the desired aim of reaching the pinnacle of success.

Our common research project will be dedicated to considering “How can mātauranga Māori and Māori pedagogies transform tertiary teaching and learning?”

We seek to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Expanded quality of Māori learning and teaching theory and methods for tertiary teaching
  • Enhanced access to ako in a tertiary context including technological devices
  • Theme and Otago are nationally and internationally recognised and sought after for their expertise in Māori learning and teaching methods in a tertiary environment

Who we are

We are a multidisciplinary network of more than 50 academics dedicated to promoting and facilitating new communication and new research collaborations to increase the international reputation for Otago’s research excellence in ako (Māori learning and teaching) grounded in mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and Māori pedagogies.

What we're doing

In alignment with the aims and objectives of Poutama Ara Rau we are promoting opportunities to learn more about the teaching and learning methods that our members are involved with.  We provide research grants for eligible staff and/or students to attend relevant conferences and develop research for publication.

One of our highlights from 2016 was hosting an engagement hui:

Contact us

For all inquiries please contact us at: