Current and Recent Projects

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Title: Collaborative inquiry into culturally-imbued contexts of wellness: Toward knowledge additionality on human flourishing

Abstract: The research platform draws on seminal and recent research on supporting Māori to flourish. It examines baseline data and research on what are the supports and what are the barriers to Māori flourishing in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our research strategy navigates our cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary team in order to develop significant outputs that will create flexibility, and change the lenses adopted for future research to ‘foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations (NPM, 2015). The research strategy within our team supports the growth of emerging and mid-career researchers’ in original and high quality research.

The new and innovative pathway to our research methodology means that the research is largely driven by wānanga (think tanks, learning workshops). Within these settings, we support and collaborate with emerging research talent along with the experience that resides in the wider knowledge-brokers in the community for the facilitation of robust dialogue that identifies innovative inroads for accruing benefits for Māori; inroads that are considered to be ‘fresh’ in terms of relevance, content and context. Furthermore, our methodology provides cultural locatedness, where te reo Māori and tikanga Māori are central to our communicating and developing skills – and related to selected strategies from the research findings.

Subject area and Discipline: Indigenous research
Funding: Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga
Māori relevance: High 
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Jo Fletcher, Melissa Derby, Tia Neha, Fiona Duckworth, Marie Gibson.
Status: 2018 – 2020

Title: Hikairo Schema

Abstract: This research will further develop the Hikairo Schema (2015), expanding on the first iteration produced by Professor Angus Macfarlane and Associate Professor Sonja Macfarlane. This project involves early childhood centres in Northland and Rakaia, and expands its focus to include the compulsory education sector. The Hikairo Schema is a tool designed to support educators in creating a culturally-responsive learning environment

Subject area and Discipline: Māori education
Funding: New Zealand Council of Educational Research, University of Canterbury
Māori relevance: High 
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Melissa Derby, Roimata Macfarlane, Joe Kuntz, Benita Rarere-Briggs, Rika Currie, Shar Teirney, Marie Gibson, Te Hurinui Clarke, Makayla Hewlett, Lee Stewart
Status: 2017 – 2019

Title: Collaborative inquiry into culturally-imbued contexts of wellness: Toward knowledge additionality on human flourishing

Abstract: University of Canterbury (UC) Science and Engineering researchers have gained $10.7 million in funding for five Smart Ideas proposals and two Research Programmes in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s 2017 Endeavour Round. The seven new UC research projects will be funded for the next three to five years under MBIE’s Endeavour Fund, which invests in excellent science that has the potential to positively impact New Zealand economically, environmentally and socially. “The breadth of the projects – extending from geospatial tools for community and rūnanga town planning, to a new biomarker assay platform for disease detection, to tuning protein expression for primary sector applications, to understanding the possible recovery trajectories for Kaikōura marine ecosystems – demonstrates the wide-ranging capacity of UC’s original, significant research. Te Rū Rangahau Director, Angus Macfarlane, is involved in a project, which is part of this fund, examining map-based tools for community and rūnanga-led sustainable town planning in small and medium settlements in New Zealand ($2,570,250 funded over 5 years) 

Subject area and Discipline: Indigenous research
Funding: Endeavour Fund, Ministry for Business, Innovation, and Employment
Māori relevance: High 
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane
Status: 2018 – 2020

Title: A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea

Abstract: A project under the auspices of the nation-wide National Science Challenges (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 2014). Significant health, education and social disparities persist in New Zealand and, as in other societies, indigenous and minority populations are the most affected. In addressing these disparities and ensuring equitable outcomes for all New Zealanders an important first step is to provide “a better start” to life. “E Tipu e rea”, which translates as “Grow ye, o seed, and fulfil your potential”, was penned by Sir Apirana Ngata, a revered Māori leader (Member of Parliament 1905-1943). The importance of early childhood, in particular, is reinforced by the recent analysis of adult health outcomes from early intervention [1]. The challenge is to use science to improve the potential of young New Zealanders to have a healthy and successful life with a focus on altering trajectories early in life and at adolescence, to bring together already developed expertise in New Zealand, and to explore, understand and use the new digital world we live in to create better outcomes. The framework set for the Challenge requires developing a science plan around three broad themes: 1. Maternal health, pregnancy and early childhood; 2. Successful transition into adulthood; and 3. Education: Living in a Digital world. 

Subject area and Discipline: Human development; Disciplines of health science and education
Funding: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Māori relevance: High 
Personnel: Gail Gillon, Angus Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Melissa Derby, and colleagues
Status: 2014 – 2024

https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/education-and-health/research/a-better-start-literacy-and-learning-theme/ 

Title: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities

Abstract: A project under the auspices of the nation-wide National Science Challenges (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 2014). There are significant difficulties in New Zealand’s built environment regarding housing supply, the quality of housing, and the vulnerabilities and underperformance of our urban environments.  Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities aims to help transform dwellings and places where people live into homes and communities that are hospitable, productive, and protective. The Challenge’s vision is Ka ora kāinga rua: Built environments that build communities”.  The Challenge mission is Manaaki Tangata.  Researchers, engaged with industry and community, through innovative research with commitment to co-creation of new knowledge, will transform the systems and organisations that shape the creation and regeneration of our homes, neighbourhoods, towns, and cities. Homes, neighbourhoods, towns and cities throughout New Zealand will enable people to enrich their lives and reach their social, cultural and economic potential throughout their life stages. 

Subject area and Discipline: Human development; Disciplines of health science and geography
Funding: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Māori relevance: High 
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane and colleagues
Status: 2014 – 2024

Title: Te Pā o Rākaihautū – Wetekia kia rere: Kaitiakitanga and decolonizing methodologies for Māori succeeding as Māori in education

Abstract: This research will undertake a co-generative process with our community and collaborating researchers to scope and develop specific research questions, those being:

  1. Is the Te Pā o Rākaihautu approach to decolonising education effective?
    1. What decolonizing methods are being implemented?
    2. What does success look like from an individual, whānau and community perspective?
    3. How can you measure success (what tohu can be implemented)?
    4. What does a Pā Wānanga look like?

Subject area and Discipline: Indigenous education
Funding: Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga
Māori relevance: High 
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Melissa Derby, Richard Manning, SCION, ESR, Te Pā o Rākaihautū
Status: 2017 – 2018

Te Pā o Rākaihautū is a designated character school in Christchurch, which opened in 2015 and caters for students from Year 1 to Year 13. The school offers a place-based curriculum for the 21st century that is founded on tikanga and te reo Māori, and Māori values, culture, and history. By bringing together Māori and English mediums in a pā setting, it offers a unique learning environment that aims to deliver significantly improved outcomes for Māori students. Te Pā o Rākaihautū is the first of its kind in Christchurch. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from Te Rū Rangahau, UC’s College of Science, ESR (the Institute of Environmental Science and Research), and SCION (Crown research institute) are collaborating on projects related to priority research areas identified by Te Pā o Rākaihautū. The numerous projects contribute to monitoring, reporting and evaluating the activities at Te Pā o Rākaihautū

Subject area and Discipline: education, environmental sustainability, Māori
Funding: NA
Māori relevance: high
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Te Hurinui Clarke, Richard Manning, Melissa Derby
Status: Group established 2017

Te Rū Rangahau and Superu Relationship

Superu operate as the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit. Formerly known as the Families Commission, their purpose is to increase the use of evidence by people across the social sector so that they can make better decisions that improve the lives of New Zealanders, New Zealand’s communities, families and whānau. In 2015, Superu and Te Rū Rangahau formed a relationship with the intention of developing the He Awa Whiria - Braided Rivers approach to research. Leaders from each organisation have been involved in national and international conference presentations, as well as wānanga and workshops in Wellington and Christchurch. Additionally, He Awa Whiria - Braided Rivers has been formally adopted by Superu as part of their ongoing work programme to measure and monitor wellbeing for families and whānau. Two separate frameworks have been developed to monitor and report on family and whānau wellbeing.  The frameworks stem from and are informed by different knowledge codes (Western science & Te Ao Māori).  The work is challenging, innovative, complex, and exciting.

Funding: NA
Māori relevance: High
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Vyletta Arago-Kemp, Bev Hong, Kahukore Baker
Status: 2014 – 2017

Title: Huakina Mai: Opening doorways for Māori learners

Abstract: A project under the auspices of the nation-wide Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiative, Ministry of Education (2012-2016). This project is in response to the developmental a nationwide initiative of a whole-school strengths-based behavioural intervention by Māori for Māori with the potential to transform educational success and opportunities.  The initial stage of the project involved  a round of data collection, conducted via a series of focus groups held with Māori experts, practitioners, families and students, to support a theoretical development of a kaupapa Māori approach to school-wide positive behaviour.  The evidence indicated that a systems framework needs to come from a Māori worldview, be inclusive of community and ensure Māori children are able to learn as Māori – enjoying positive cultural and identity development through schooling.
Subject area and Discipline: Behaviour and motivation; Discipline of psychology 

Funding: Ministry of Education
Māori relevance: High
Personnel: Macfarlane, S., Macfarlane, A., Savage, C., Fickel, L. & Te Hemi, H., Duckworth, F.
Status: 2012 – 2015

Title: Challenges and continuities: Unintended impacts of Te Reo Māori language revitalisation efforts

Abstract: We are now 30+ years on from when our children first had the opportunity to attend Kōhanga. They are a part of a fortunate generation, like those who will follow them. And so too are those that are following. But what of those older Māori, their parents and grandparents, some of who do speak te reo but many who do not? What challenges to tikanga, age related roles and relationships do these demographics present? Challenges and Continuities: Unintended impacts of Te Reo Māori language revitalisation efforts will answer the following research questions:

  • What are the experiences and strategies employed by pakeke and rangatahi to maintain mana when contexts require te reo proficiency?
  • What are the implications of shifts in age and role related customary practices on pakeke and rangatahi relationships and broader whānau and hapū processes?
  • What are mutually supportive practices that enrich the mana and wisdom of pakeke, and the learning and development experiences of rangatahi, towards te reo and tikanga enhancement?

Subject area and Discipline: te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, language revitalisation
Funding: Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga
Māori relevance: High
Personnel: Waikaremoana Waitoki and team from the University of Waikato, Angus Macfarlane (Te Wai Pounamu delegate), Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Principal Investigators
Status: Project commenced 2016

Pushkin Poem

Abstract: An influential poem penned by revered Russian poet Alexander Pushkin was translated into te reo Māori with the support of te reo Māori experts and advocates of Te Rū Rangahau. The love poem, A Wondrous Moment I Remember, dedicated to Pushkin’s wife, has been translated into 210 languages, including Māori, in a unique publication. The Māori translation was made possible after Christchurch-based Russian Cultural Centre Trust convenor, Anna Filippochkina, approached Te Rū Rangahau director Professor Angus Macfarlane, seeking a professional partnership. Te Hurinui Clarke, a researcher in Te Rū Rangahau, translated the work, and using some poetic licence, managed to retain the artistry of te reo Māori, yet still convey the meaning of the poem. Clarke employed a Māori-Shakespearian style of language, using metaphor and personification. Clarke’s translation was passed to Te Arawa tribal authority, the late Mauriora Kingi, to check for accuracy and authenticity. The project makes a valuable and unique contribution to the revitalisation of te reo Māori. 

Subject area and Discipline: te reo Māori, language revitalisation
Funding: NA
Māori relevance: High
Personnel: Te Hurinui Clarke, Angus Macfarlane, Russian Cultural Centre Trust
Status: Published 2016

Sociocultural Realities: Exploring New Horizons

Abstract: ‘Sociocultural Realities: Exploring New Horizons’ examines approaches that grow out of the past and function in the present -  in the education sector, from early childhood to tertiary. With few publications covering such a range, there is a common struggle to gain a better understanding of the impact of social and cultural discourses on learning and teaching; this book aims to encourage the discussion and application of the theory and practice by researchers, policy-makers and teacher educators in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and elsewhere. The evolution of sociocultural theory is illustrated with clarity, and its links to cultural diversity across these geographically distinct settings are shared. By way of a range of personal experiences, and some innovative research that showcases sociocultural theory in practice, the book offers practical examples for educators to employ in today’s diverse learning contexts. Three key messages recur: the importance of people working in partnership, the worthiness of protecting diversity and uniqueness, and the significance of participation as an enabler of success. ‘Sociocultural Realities: Exploring New Horizons’ is a reference for teachers, special education advisors, psychologists, university lecturers and paraprofessionals.

Subject area and Discipline: sociocultural theory, culturally-inclusive pedagogy, Indigenous education 
Funding: Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Expanding Excellence Initiative
Māori relevance: High
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Melinda Webber
Status: Published 2015

Restlessness, Resoluteness and Reason: Looking Back at 50 Years of Māori Education

Abstract: The New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies celebrated 50 years of publication in 2015, and to commemorate this milestone, the Journal commissioned a paper from Professor Angus Macfarlane that recounts some of the highlights experienced by Māori over five decades.  ‘Restlessness, Resoluteness and Reason: Looking Back at 50 Years of Māori Education’ explores the last 50 years of education provision for Māori, starting with historical touchstones that have influenced the recent past, a critique of the recent past itself, and observations of the present cultural drivers - those that harbour promises of a modern story that is authentically inclusive, and responsive to local and global obligations. The growing recognition of Māori education phenomena and ‘ways of knowing’ can be seen both as a response to the erosion and loss of traditional knowledge philosophies through the processes of colonialism and internationalism, and as a means of reclaiming and revaluing Māori language, identity and culture. Improving the educational success of Māori learners and their whānau contributes to ensuring that the goals identified as being critical for Māori advancement, are accomplished. 

Subject area and Discipline: Māori education, New Zealand history, culturally-responsive pedagogy
Funding: NA
Acknowledgement: New Zealand Journal of Education Studies
Māori relevance: High
Personnel: Angus Macfarlane
Status: Published 2015

Title: Measuring the effectiveness of ‘whole of system’ responses to preventing family violence

Abstract: The Families Commission/SuPERU wishes to critically review and assess the methods to measure the effectiveness of ‘whole of system’ responses to preventing family violence.  This work will also: Consider the appropriate mix and spread (and dose) of interventions across the system; Identify and assess effectiveness measures for interventions across a level/field/sector of the ‘system’; Consider how existing datasets held within government and NGOs can be used to measure effectiveness and identify any barriers or limitations that may exist. This work will support any future cross sector integrated approaches to address complex social issues in general and family violence in particular.  The review will therefore include an assessment of the data requirements (and existing barriers and/or limitations of the current datasets) to ensure this methodology is viable. The review will also look at innovative ways to measure effectiveness without evaluating each individual programme that is delivered. The Government is currently developing a comprehensive, long-term, and whole of government approach to further reduce family violence – Achieving Intergenerational Change (AIC). This review will support this work by providing an understanding of how to measure the effectiveness of the whole system of responses, across multiple levels of interventions.

Subject area and Discipline: Social psychology
Funding: Families Commission/SuPERU
Māori relevance: High 
Personnel: Sue Carswell, Jeff Foote, Angus Macfarlane, 
Status: 2015