Development programme explores Tauranga Moana

20 Mar 2023

For Senior Lecturer Marg Cosgriff, the biggest takeaway was a deeper understanding of Tauranga Moana that she now feels confident enough to share with other people.

For Marg Cosgriff, Senior Lecturer at Te Huataki Waiora School of Health, the Te Aurei Professional Development Pilot Programme for staff was a chance to connect at a deeper level with Tauranga Moana.

Based in Tauranga she had learned many of the stories of the new building, Te Manawaroa, at the Tauranga campus when it was opened but she wanted the opportunity for a deeper level of exploration.

“I was aware of the work of the Taskforce and the investigation into the allegations of racism that the University has been through, and now the goals that we are now working towards with Te Aurei.”

“For me it seemed like the right time to start this journey,” says Marg.

The three-day Tauranga Moana programme took place between September and November 2022, led by Taha Tangitū-Huata.

It began with an introduction to tikanga and te reo Māori, including an introduction to the cultural narrative of Te Manawaroa and understanding cultural processes. Participants were then introduced to the iwi landscape of Tauranga Moana including a field trip to Gate Pā and Mauao and an introduction to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It also incorporated a series of cultural hour tutorials and opportunities for discussion and reflection throughout.

The programme rounded off with an overnight stay in Te Manawaroa.

“I am really only at beginner level but we talked a lot about our pepeha and the place of karakia and had some really good discussions around that. It’s not often you’re indulged into that level of exploration,” says Marg.

Her message to others thinking of enrolling in the refined programme for 2023 is just start where you are.

“It doesn’t matter what level of understanding you already have on any of the topics covered, it really is pitched at a level where everyone can participate.”

The biggest takeaway for her was a deeper understanding of Tauranga Moana that she now feels confident enough to share with other people.

“I didn’t go into the programme with the intention of using the learnings for any particular purpose, but I took so much away that will be useful in both my teaching and research to remind myself of the different perspectives.”

The other positive from the programme was the connections she made with other staff from across the University.

“Those connections across the University are invaluable. We now have a group we can call on and work with who come from across all sectors of the University.”

This research aligns with the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Reduced Inequalities Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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