Māori in Psychology

He honore, he kororia, he maungarongo ki te whenua he whakaaro pai ki nga tangata katoa. Me whakahōnore i a Kingi Tuheitia, te pouherenga o ngā waka i te ao Maori. Ka mihi hoki ki tona hoa rangatira me te kahui ariki nui tonu, pai marire ki a ratou. I ngā mate, ratou ma kua wheturangitia, haere, haere, haere atu rā. Tātou ngā kanohi ora, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

The School of Psychology aims to create an environment in which psychology is recognised as a platform for Māori development. Through various strategies the School supports Māori students to reach their potential in their chosen specialities and to provide all psychology students with Māori and bicultural paradigms and insights relevant to working and living in Aotearoa/New Zealand. By linking with Māori academic staff, practitioners and post-graduate students, Māori students are provided leadership and mentoring opportunities to ensure their progress towards excellence and success.

There are many psychologies in the world that derive from the perspectives and contexts of those advancing them. The USA and Europe have been the most active in this regard and much of our psychology here at Waikato is informed by these two types of psychology. However, there are other psychologies in the world that present an understanding of being in and understanding the world that is different to that of Europe and USA. Psychologists, researchers and thinkers from the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, Africa and South America have advanced their own psychologies in ways that are relevant and meaningful to their peoples. At Waikato, we purposefully seek to advance a psychology indigenous to Māori people, that is meaningful to our context and that makes a real difference to the way in which Māori people experience life. Having access to all the psychologies the world has to offer is seen as a good thing.

The Maori and Psychology Research Unit (MPRU) has an international reputation for advancing research that has the psychological wellbeing of Maori as a central focus. An important role played by the MPRU is in providing invaluable practical experience to both Māori and non-Māori students through involvement in Māori focussed research, planning and management, as well as professional development activities. Academic staff of the Māori & Psychology Research Unit are happy to talk with you about your research interests.

The School of Psychology also has a Kaupapa Māori Management Committee (KMMC) made up of Māori staff from the School who meet regularly to discuss matters of relevance to Māori within psychology such as student support, retention, policy, and research and resources. Issues of concern can be raised with individual Māori staff members, the Kaupapa Māori Student Advisor, course representatives or other staff from the School of Psychology.

We wish you great success with your studies in psychology and hope that the resources highlighted make for a rewarding journey through psychology.

Nō reira e rau rangatira mā. Rātou kua tātai whetū ki te rangi ki a rātou. Tātou te akaaka o te whenua e takatū ake nei, huri āwhiowhio nei, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Māori Staff in Psychology

Academic Staff

Associate Professor Bridgette Masters-Awatere
Community Psychology Graduate Programme Convenor & Director of MPRU

Dr Mohi Rua
Senior Lecturer; Community, Maori, Indigenous & Social Psychology

Dr Armon Tamatea
Senior Lecturer

Kaupapa Māori Tutorials

The School of Psychology recognises the need for and supports the continuation of a Kaupapa Māori Tutorial Programme. As a minimum, the School aims to have Kaupapa Māori tutorials available in all core psychology papers.

Kaupapa Māori Research in Psychology

Kaupapa Māori psychology has two major features. The first involves applying psychological knowledge to problems that confront Māori at the individual or group level, as well as supporting Māori to achieve their aspirations. The second approach emerges from within the Māori world and involves growing a Māori-specific psychology that addresses issues of concern to Māori in uniquely Māori ways. Underlying these two approaches is a psychological understanding of Māori cultural concepts, culture change and resilience. Kaupapa Māori research in the School of Psychology is often lead by the Māori & Psychology Research Unit (MPRU). See the MPRU website for more details or simply click on the staff profiles below for specific research inquiries.

Kaupapa Māori Management Committee Profile

The Kaupapa Māori Management Committee (KMMC) consists of Māori academic staff in the School of Psychology, including the Kaupapa Māori Student Advisor, Māori staff associated with the Māori and Psychology Research Unit and those who have expertise in Māori development. Giving effect to the School’s responsibilities under the University of Waikato Charter and the School Strategic Plan, KMMC actively encourage and support the development and maintenance of an environment that:

  • Meets the educational and research needs of Māori students and staff
  • Recognises and promotes the need for psychology students and staff to be culturally responsive; and
  • Recognises and promotes psychology as a platform for Māori development.

KMMC meet regularly to discuss Māori student recruitment, retention, and completion. All matters of relevance to Māori within Psychology such as policy, support structures, research and resources are regularly discussed by the committee.

Māori and Psychology Research Unit

The Māori and Psychology Research Unit (MPRU) in the School of Psychology has an international reputation for facilitating research that holds Māori as central to the issue under investigation. With the involvement of students, research projects include the study of Tangihanga, media representations of Māori, homelessness, mental health and recovery, domestic violence, the recruitment and retention of Māori in tertiary institutions, Māori cultural change, Moko - Māori skin art, Maori men’s relational health, Pacific health and Māori migration.

Te Kohikohinga Māori Library

Te Kohikohinga Māori is a dedicated resource library that contains literature relevant to Māori, indigenous and multicultural psychology and is available to staff and graduate students in the School. Located in the seating area outside K1.22, access to these resources is overseen by the School of Psychology Administration Staff (K1.12). Please see the administration staff for the key to these cabinets.

Publications of interest

Publications that relate to Māori and Psychology

Māori Student Profiles

Pita KingPita Richard Wiremu King
Iwi: Te Rarawa
Hapu: Te Waekoi

Degree: Master of Applied Psychology (Community Psychology)
Title of thesis: Māori homeless men and gardening

Pare HarrisParewahaika Erenora Te Korowhiti Harris
Iwi: Te Arawa/Ngāti Whakaue/ Ngāti Raukawa

Degree: Master of Social Sciences – Psychology
Title of Thesis: Māori Women’s experiences of Bipolar Disorder: Pathways to well-being

Waikato Psychology Students’ Association FB

There is an active Waikato Psychology Students Association on campus that also has a Facebook page. If you want to find out more, visit them here.

Other support for Māori students at Waikato

Maori student support in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
[email protected]