Media Advisory 7 February 2017

Academic named in the final three for New Zealander of the Year
A University of Waikato academic Associate Professor Mere Berryman, ONZM, has been named in the final three for 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. Tauranga-based Dr Berryman has been a lifelong advocate for incorporating Māori culture and values in the New Zealand school curriculum. She was a key developer of the school-based programmes Te Kotahitanga, He Kakano and most recently Kia Eke Panuku: Building on success. The Ministry of Education-funded Kia Eke Panuku was adopted by 94 New Zealand secondary schools. Filmmaker Taika Waititi and the Salvation Army’s Major Campbell Roberts are the other two finalists in this year’s award. The winner will be announced in Auckland on February 22.
Contact: Associate Professor Mere Berryman, 021 2580 310, or

New Ageing Well Challenge focuses on kaumātua
The Ageing Well National Science Challenge funded research project, ‘Kaumātua mana motuhake,’ will be launched on Friday this week (10 Feb) at the Rauawaawa Charitable Trust in Hamilton. The research is being led by Professor Brendan Hokowhitu in partnership with Rauawaawa and seeks to address the mana motuhake (identity, autonomy) of kaumātua. The study will investigate the health outcomes of a ‘tuakana-teina’ peer-educator model in relation to wellness, social connectedness, life enhancement, independence and, in particular, significant life-transitions. Academics from the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies and Management Communication at Waikato Management School will be working with Rauawaawa on the multidisciplinary project that will include kaumātua, community health researchers, and Māori Studies researchers.
Contact: Dr Mary Simpson, 027 294 6586, or

Indigenous research conference talks Mana Motuhake
He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference is being held in Hamilton again this year. The conference runs from 6-8 March at Claudelands Event Centre and registrations are now open. It is the third University of Waikato Te Kotahi Research Institute (TKRI) international indigenous conference, and aims to highlight an international pool of indigenous knowledge and research. Keynote speakers include Professor Larissa Behrendt, Pua Case, Professor Rawinia Higgins, Moana Jackson, Hoturoa Kerr, Dr Sylvia McAdam, Aroha Mead, Associate Professor Glenn Morris, Annette Sykes, Veronica Tawhai, Tom Roa, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Associate Professor Leonie Pihama. Dinner speakers include Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai and Heather Skipworth. Attendees are expected from Australia, Hawaii, Canada and the US, and will mix with academics, researchers, students and community representatives from New Zealand. The conference theme, ‘Mana Motuhake: Indigenous Sovereignty’ recognises that around the world Indigenous Nations are engaged in movements that are focused upon the affirmation of peoples as tangata whenua, the people of the land.  For more information, visit
Contact: Tammy Tauroa, 07 838 4671, 027 524 2249, or

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