He Hokinga ki te Mauri: Strengthening teaching te Tiriti o Waitangi

Showcase Presenter: Heather Came

Universities have a responsibility to prepare graduates to work with te Tiriti so their practice can align with professional and ethical standards. 

Despite the strategic importance of the kaupapa and the Waitangi Tribunal, recent WAI 2575 findings reveal that our health system has failed to address health inequities; literature on teaching te Tiriti remains sparse. 

We suggest that addressing this gap by applying Tiriti-based assessment processes is an important step to ensure our staff and students engage te Tiriti learning and application in meaningful ways. We introduce He Hokinga ki te Mauri [a return to vibrancy] as a framework for teaching and assessing te Tiriti informed by decades of practical experience engaging with anti-racism work. 

The framework consists of three parts. Firstly, te upoko which involves working with students to drawing out an intellectual rationale for engaging with Tiriti and covering core curriculum. Secondly, it offers strategies for te ngākau – involving heart and wairua [spirit]. Thirdly, ngā ringa – involves practical application in relation to one’s professional and personal sphere of influence. Working with the ongoing impacts of colonisation gives rise to a range of politically and emotionally charged topics; we believe our method might strengthen teaching and learning associated with decolonisation.

 We suggest that assessment of te Tiriti knowledge, confidence and application require creating learning conditions and assessment based on ‘ako’ – a reflective and dialogic focus on learner desires, inclinations, dispositions and motivations. An assessment process underpinned by ako involves developing tools that critically link reflection and action. This reflexive assessment processes deepens the potential efficacy of Tiriti-honouring thinking and doing.

Attendees at this showcase will be introduced to the three parts of the framework. This will be followed by interactive group discussion. Question and answers will be taken throughout.

Dr Heather Came-Friar is a seventh generation Pākehā New Zealander and a Senior Lecturer with Taupua Waiora. Her background is in health promotion and social justice activism and she is a founding member of STIR: Stop Institutional Racism. Her research focuses on critical policy analysis, te Tiriti o Waitangi and anti-racism.