Indigenous research conference registrations open

11 May 2015

Leonie Pihama

University of Waikato Te Kotahi Research Institute Director Associate Professor Leonie Pihama is the host and one of the keynote speakers at He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference.

Following on from the success of its inaugural conference in 2013, He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference is being held again this year.

The conference runs from 29 June to 1 July at Claudelands Event Centre and registrations are now open. It is the second University of Waikato Te Kotahi Research Institute (TKRI) international indigenous conference, and aims to highlight an international pool of indigenous knowledge and research.

He Manawa Whenua

"He Manawa Whenua is a unique conference in that it provides space for Indigenous researchers to share work through our own voice," says TKRI Director Associate Professor Leonie Pihama. "This means we have the space to engage with researchers working with and for their own communities. We have a range of exciting speakers both from Aotearoa and globally who are at the cutting edge of Indigenous research and decolonising methodologies."

The conference pōwhiri will be at the University of Waikato, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Sunday 28 June from 10.30am-1pm, followed by a range of indigenous performances and poetry slam. In the week before the conference, there will be pre-conference community workshops with the keynote speakers.

Keynote speakers

The keynote speakers are Professor Pou Temara, Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Professor Karina Walters, Moe Milne, Dr Jamee Māhealani Miller, Dr Ruakere Hond, Dr Bonnie Duran, Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith, Professor Bob Morgan, Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, Mereana Pitman and Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith.

Several hundred people are expected to attend the conference with visitors from South Africa, Australia, Canada and the US mixing with academics, researchers, students and community representatives from around New Zealand.

The conference title and theme, He Manawa Whenua, is the Māori term for a sub-terrainal aquifer or an underground spring. It is from this source that the most pure, clear and refreshing water is obtained, being naturally filtered through the land before emerging at the surface. Water is life, and because a Manawa Whenua originates deep with the earth, Māori believe it is a most precious resource vital for the well-being of the people. The statement "he manawa whenua e kore e mimiti", considers that the flow of the underground spring is everlasting, therefore its benefits are unlimited

This conference views mātauranga Māori as a Manawa Whenua, or a pool of knowledge, that is situated within the heart of the people. Like the water, this knowledge has been filtered throughout time by the community as well as the environment to become central to the life and well-being of Māori. This Māori centred knowledge also has the potential to deliver unlimited benefits for Māori, both now and into the future. For more information, visit