Our vision is based on a tongi prophetic saying from King Tāwhiao
Māku anō e hanga i tōku nei whare, Ko ngā poupou he māhoe, he patatē, Ko te tāhūhū he hīnau I shall fashion my house, The support posts shall be of māhoe and patatē, The ridge pole of hīnau Kingi Tāwhiao
In April 2007, Māori scholars working in Te Kura Toi Tangata (The Faculty of Education) at the University of Waikato met to discuss their visions for the future. A key outcome of the meeting was the establishment of Te Whakaminenga, an alliance of Māori staff whose prime mission is to serve the interests of Māori through education and research.
Today Te Whakaminenga is a diverse group with varied interests and backgrounds. All members of Te Whakaminenga have Māori ancestry and strongly identify as Māori. Together, we contribute to a wide range of programmes, divisions, support services and departments within Te Kura Toi Tangata.
The name, Te Whakaminenga, was originally used in the New Zealand Declaration of Independence (1835). Te Whakaminenga (the gathering) was the name applied to Māori chiefs who assembled to sign the declaration to secure their status and presence as tangata whenua (people of the land). Te Whakaminenga was also used in an earlier attempt within the University to establish a campus wide Rūnanga (Māori Council).
Te Whakaminenga is based on Māori understandings, most notably, the principles of whakapapa and whanaungatanga.
Whakapapa reminds us of who we are and of the obligations that we have as Māori. It also recognises both our unity and our uniqueness. Whanaungatanga is the practice of being a whānau (family). In its wider sense it has to do with the relationships we form with others. Forming relationships and developing networks is an integral part of being Māori.
Since the formation of Te Whakaminenga several goals have been identified for the future. Key areas of exploration will include: indigenous self determination, indigenous leadership, the appointment of indigenous scholars to senior positions within the academy, strengthening community engagement & connection, planning for transformation and change and maintaining a visible, active and enduring indigenous presence in the academy.
If you would like to know more about Te Whakaminenga or if you are a Māori staff member who would like to join, please contact us.