Principle of rangatiratanga

The principle of rangatiratanga recognises Māori autonomy and self-determination, as guaranteed in Article 2 of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

In the context of the University, this relates to ensuring senior Māori leadership roles and entities, creating and maintaining spaces and events where tikanga Māori prevails, and engaging with and acknowledging Māori rights over te reo and mātauranga Māori.

Application of the principle of rangatiratanga

In applying the principle of rangatiratanga, the University commits to the creation and maintenance of senior Māori leadership roles and entities to ensure Māori influence in decision-making, strategy, and management. As in section 4.2.2(a) of the Equal Employment Opportunities Guidelines, this will ‘work to ensure Māori are well represented in positions of leadership and management, as well as other occupations across the University’. The principle is also reflected in the establishment and support for physical spaces and events where tikanga Māori (Māori cultural practice) prevails and where students and staff can engage with mātauranga, te reo Māori, and tikanga Māori. In addition, this principle secures the important place of te reo and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) under the control and authority of Māori experts.

Māori leadership roles

A key demonstration of rangatiratanga is maintaining and growing Māori academic and professional leadership positions across the University. We have a number of designated roles including, but not limited to, a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori), an Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Mātauranga Māori), a Pou Hautū (Māori), a Pou Kōkiri, Māori Heads of School, Māori professors, Māori directors, and Māori managers.  

When establishing new Māori leadership roles in Faculties and Central Service Units, alongside the formal Human Resources processes, support should also be sought from the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) to identify and recruit candidates for these roles.

Membership of Toihuarewa and Te Hauhiku

All Māori academic staff members are automatically members of Toihuarewa, a standing committee of Academic Board. As well as attending regular Toihuarewa meetings, which provide an academic forum to discuss Māori issues and opportunities, members of Toihuarewa can also be nominated to represent Toihuarewa on other University committees.

Māori professional staff members are automatically able to become members of Te Hauhiku. This collective meets frequently to provide a forum for discussion and support to Māori professional staff.

The role of Te Herenga Waka marae

Te Herenga Waka marae was established in the 1980s primarily as a Māori learning, teaching, research, and engagement space. It is the University’s central location for Māori events and a place where tikanga Māori prevails. The University is committed to ensuring adequate resourcing to maintain, develop, and protect the integrity of the marae.

The marae is busy most weeks with classes, meetings, and providing lunches for students and staff. Outside of that, the marae can be booked for visits, conferences and other events, and noho marae through the booking system. As tikanga Māori prevails in the marae space, bookings are subject to the policies as defined by Te Herenga Waka Marae Committee. The Marae Committee sets the kawa (protocols) and policy of Te Herenga Waka Marae so that tikanga and Māori ways of operating remain the norm.  

At this University, all pōhiri are held at Te Herenga Waka marae. Pōhiri do not normally take place at any other university venue, unless permission is granted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori).  Instead, other less formal rituals of encounter, such as mihi whakatau or mihi, can take place in these other spaces. If in doubt, advice should be sought from the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori).

Māori culturally appropriate spaces

A key demonstration of rangatiratanga is ensuring that other places across the university reflect, support, and promote Māori learning, teaching, research, and engagement. Culturally appropriate spaces should be made available for staff and students in other parts of the university to support and enable te reo, mātauranga Māori, and Māori pedagogies. One such example is the Whānau Houses facility, which is overseen by the Director of Te Herenga Waka marae and Student Accommodation. The Whānau Houses offer self-catered accommodation for University students with a knowledge and/or interest in tikanga Māori and te reo Māori.

With the growing demand for new, custom-built facilities, their design and development should take into account traditional and contemporary Māori needs. Advice can be sought via the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori).

Te reo and mātauranga Māori

The University recognises and values te reo and mātauranga Māori alongside Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the Strategic Plan. A full Māori language plan for the University is also currently under development. In addition, section 4.2.2(e) of the Equal Employment Opportunity Guidelines, states that the University must ‘strengthen recognition of the Māori language, and support its acquisition and knowledge in the workplace’ and acknowledges an active duty to support and protect the language. The University is committed to supporting this engagement by ensuring the teaching and learning of te reo and mātauranga Māori is available for staff and students.

Te Kawa a Māui provides undergraduate and postgraduate te reo and mātauranga Māori courses that are available to students and staff. Other courses across the University have included elements of te reo and mātauranga Māori where relevant to their learning and teaching objectives.

Staff at the University can also access te reo and mātauranga Māori courses through the Human Resources Te Hāpai programme, as part of their professional development. There are three introductory courses on te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi and two extended courses on ako Māori (teaching and learning Māori) and rangahau Māori (Māori research). Professional and executive development courses are also available through Wellington Uni-Professional.

The visibility of te reo Māori is also important to the University and Māori names and signage is encouraged. Approval for new Māori names and signage is required from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) to ensure appropriateness and orthography is consistent.