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Research projects

Childhood in a changing Pacific

Pacific Island communities are experiencing significant societal changes as a result of rural-urban, inter-island migration and migration to New Zealand. These relocations have significant implications for children’s social well-being and relationship to place. Pacific children aged 8–16 living in urban communities in Dunedin and Samoa will be interviewed, to better understand the lived childhood experiences of Pacific children.

This research uses community based child-centred interviewing, mapping, and photograph methods; in order to provide better understandings of Pacific children’s childhoods, particularly their sense of place, safety belonging, and perception of their own futures in a rapidly changing world.

Researcher

Dr Michelle Schaaf
Email michelle.schaaf@otago.ac.nz

Expected research output/s and timeframes

  • Journal 
  • During the next 12 months, I aim to co-write and publish an article on NZ Pacific Children: Connections to community, changes and futures (based on the Dunedin research data collected via interviews, photos and maps during July/August 2019)

Collaborators

Professor Claire Freeman (Principal Investigator, Geography), Dr Christina Ergler (Geography, Dr Anita Latai (NUS), Mary Jane Kivalu (Research Assistant)

Funding source

University of Otago Research Grant (UORG) – $27,368.00

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E kore au e ngaro! The enduring legacy of whakapapa

Without knowledge of my whakapapa I would most likely be dead. Knowing it saved my life. The aim of this research is to assess the socio-cultural impact of the interrelationship between whakapapa and genetic research. Through the lens of whānau with a CDH1 mutation, this study will investigate the role of whakapapa in empowering whānau; experiences of whānau with a CDH1 mutation; and culturally-responsive genetic research.

The three areas of research will shed light on how Māori can harness the power of their whakapapa for their physical well-being, as well as how scientists and the health-care system can engage more with whānau for better health outcomes.

Researcher

Associate Professor Karyn Paringatai
Email karyn.paringatai@otago.ac.nz

Expected research output/s

  • Journal articles
  • Conference presentations
  • Book

Collaborators

Associate Investigator – Professor Parry Guilford, Director of the Centre for Translational Cancer Research / Te Aho Matatū

Funding Source

Marsden Fund / Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden (Social Sciences Panel) – $823,000

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He Tuhinga nō Neherā: Texts, Contexts and Resonances

A number of New Zealand academics came together to discuss historical texts written by a Māori man, woman, or group during the colonial period. The focus was on the text, and historical context from which it was produced, but also how the text might resonate today, with whānau, hapū or iwi, with te iwi Māori, or with Aotearoa-New Zealand more generally. I am now collaborating with several Te Tumu colleagues to publish an edited collection of essays from this project.

Researcher

Professor Lachy Paterson
Email lachy.paterson@otago.ac.nz
Also a member of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture

Expected research output/s and timeframes

  • Book: a co-edited collection, to be completed in 2021

Collaborators

Dr Paerau Warbrick (Te Tumu) and Dr Megan Potiki (Te Tumu)

Funding source

Centre for Research on Colonial Culture – $8,000

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Indigenous Textual Cultures

A number of New Zealand and international academics came together to discuss aspects of text and print history relating to indigenous peoples, in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, Africa and North America, with particular regard to textual culture. I am now collaborating with several Otago colleagues to publish an edited collection of essays from this project.

Researcher

Professor Lachy Paterson
Email lachy.paterson@otago.ac.nz
Also a member of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture

Expected research output/s and timeframes

Book: a co-edited collection, to be completed in 2020.

Collaborators

Professor Tony Ballantyne (History, University of Otago) and Professor Angela Wanhalla (History, University of Otago)

Funding source

Centre for Research on Colonial Culture – $6,000

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Introduction to Māori tribal histories

A book-length study of published Māori tribal historical narratives including the following topics: creation, culture heroes (Māui), ancestral canoe migrations, the unfolding of tribal narratives within Aotearoa and Te Waipounamu, stories of rangatira, mana wāhine, and the study of emotions.

Researcher

Professor Michael Reilly
Email michael.reilly@otago.ac.nz

Expected research output/s and timeframes

  • Conference
  • Book: the intention is to publish this as a book: timeframe within next 5 years.

Funding source

Possibly some internal research funding from the University of Otago.

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Te Hau Kāinga: Histories and Legacies of the Māori Home Front, 1939–45

Māori participation in World War II was significant. For Māori, their experience instigated significant social, economic and demographic transitions, and stimulated calls for equality of treatment in all areas of life in the post-war decades. Yet, the wartime experience is one of the least understood changes in Māori society.

This project will provide the first sustained examination of the Māori home front from the perspectives of women, young people, whānau and communities who experienced the war at home, addressing how ordinary Māori mobilised for wartime economic needs, and made a distinctive contribution to post-war aspirations for political and economic self-determination.

Researcher

Professor Lachy Paterson
Email lachy.paterson@otago.ac.nz
Also a member of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture

Expected research output/s and timeframes

  • Conference: Pacific History Association, Suva, 2020
  • Book: a co-authored monograph by the lead investigators and postdoctoral fellow
  • Other: a symposium in 2021 on the indigenous home-front from an international perspective, to be attended by scholars from a range of countries (Australia, Pacific and North America). An edited collection is planned from this event
  • This research will fund up to five internships for Māori students to return to their own hau kāinga to undertake research on the impacts of the Second World War on their own

Collaborators

Lead Investigators: Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla (History, University of Otago) and Professor Lachy Paterson; Postdoctoral Fellow: Sarah Christie

Funding source

Marsden Fund/Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden (Social Sciences Panel) – $746,000

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Te Iwi Māori me te Pukapuka: Māori and the Book 

This project investigates Māori engagement with literacy and print, especially in the nineteenth century. While the acquisition of literacy is of course relevant, a more productive area of study is how Māori used these skills in their social, political and economic lives. Print was introduced as Māori were gaining their literacy skills.

This project also investigates how various historical actors, including the state, churches and pan-Māori organisations, marshalled this new technology to promulgate their own discourses and advance their own agenda.

Researcher

Professor Lachy Paterson
Email lachy.paterson@otago.ac.nz
Also a member of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture

Expected research output/s and timeframes

  • Conference: New Zealand Studies Conference, Marseille, 2020
  • Book: a sole authored monograph, to be completed in 2021

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The culture hero, Māui, in Mangaia (Cook Islands)

Publication of local stories about the culture hero, Māui, as told by tribal historians in Mangaia during the 19th century. The stories will be transcribed, translated and analysed, paying attention in particular to important cultural themes.

Researcher

Professor Michael Reilly
Email michael.reilly@otago.ac.nz

Expected research output/s and timeframes

  • Conference
  • Other: this is expected to appear as a journal article, probably within the next 5 years

Funding source

Possibly some internal research funding from Otago University.

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Tuupuna Times

Preserving the narratives of Ruuruhi (elderly woman) and Koroheke (elderly man) is a tool integral to helping whaanau (family) capture and record their lifetime stories. The puna paatai (question databank) is a series of seven questions designed as conversation starters covering a number of aspects involving the mundane and obvious.

The objective is to encourage whaanau to target those who are vulnerable, age-wise and health-wise. It also gets people thinking about other considerations; for example why you may want to record these stories, how you may want to present them and things to be aware of in the process with interviewing and recording information.

Researcher

Dr Tangiwai Rewi
Email tangiwai.rewi@otago.ac.nz

Expected research output/s and timeframes

  • Conference
  • Journal article
  • Iwi workshops for participants

Collaborators

  • Te Koronga Indigenous Science Research Theme
  • Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust 2019

Funding source

Te Koronga Indigenous Science Research Theme Seeding Grant 2018 – $5,000

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Emotions in Pacific and Australia

An examination of key emotion words in selected indigenous language texts, primarily from parts of Polynesia, and also Aboriginal Australia.

Researcher

Professor Michael Reilly
Email michael.reilly@otago.ac.nz

Expected research output/s and timeframes

  • Chapter in a book on emotions to be published by Routledge.

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