Te Kura Whatu Oho Mauri School of Psychology

On Wednesday 27th May 2020 Associate Professor Tom Roa and Dr Haki Tuaupiki in consultation with the Kaupapa Māori Management Committee (KMMC), gifted a Māori name to the School of Psychology at the University of Waikato:

Te Kura Whatu Oho Mauri

This name was developed through an iterative process of collaboration and consultation. Staff members in the School of Psychology were invited to contribute thoughts, ideas, texts of what psychology means to them. Our Kaupapa Māori Management Committee (Dr Mohi Rua, Dr Moana Waitoki, Dr Armon Tamatea and Dr Bridgette Awatere-Masters) collated and distilled this staff feedback to highlight key concepts, terms and notions of psychology.

KMMC presented this material to Assoc Prof Tom Roa and Dr Haki Tuaupiki to wānanga about a potential Māori name that could reflect such understandings. After several wānanga, Assoc Prof Roa and Dr Tuaupiki developed the name ‘Te Kura Whatu Oho Mauri’ and gifted this to the School. A public event was also held to ceremonially unveil the name to the School and the wider University, as part of Kingitanga Day 2020.

Kura reflects:

  • a direct term for ‘School’

Whatu reflects:

  • the very broad yet focused spectrum of the lens that the school, and those external to it, apply to Psychology
  • the heart (whatumanawa), the principles, espoused in, with, and of Psychology
  • the stones of the consolidation of knowledge [in Tainui tradition, Tāwhaki received the stones from Rehua along with 'Ngā Kete o Te Wānanga' (the Baskets of Knowledge)] and the importance of consolidating the theories and practices of Psychology
  • the weave of theory and praxis, by theorists and practitioners, to advance Psychology

Oho reflects:

  • the awakening towards a realisation of the importance (in Psychology) of whatu and, in particular, mauri

Mauri reflects:

  • the quintessence, the very being, the fundamental existence of all and everything that is Psychology.

Common amongst Māori naming processes is the connection to people, location, history and events. With that in mind, the following whakatauki was discussed as appropriately connected to the University, and the new School name;

“Māku te whatu, māu te tāniko”

“I will weave, you will fashion”. I will guide and support, whilst you provide the detailed instruction.

Te Kura Whatu Oho Mauri and the KMMC would like to extend its gratitude again to Assoc Prof Tom Roa and Dr Haki Tuaupiki for the beautiful name and cultural support.

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