MAI Journal 2016: Volume 5 Issue 1

Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 9, 2016

This general issue of MAI Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1 (2016) contains six articles on themes such as ethnic-specific equity programmes in New Zealand universities, Māori values in the workplace, mental health support for Māori following the Christchurch earthquakes, digital media with Māori-language interfaces, representations of Māori and smoking in media, and discourses around mahinga kai, Māori food-gathering sites and practices.

The lead article by Hilary Dansey Dutton, David Tokiharu Mayeda, Moeata Keil and ‘I.- Futa- Helu ‘Ofamo‘oni, titled "'We're all in it together': Māori and Pacific student voices on ethnic-specific equity programmes in a New Zealand university" discusses programmes aimed at ameliorating educational disadvantage experienced by Māori and Pacific students at tertiary level. It presents findings from a study where focus groups were conducted with 90 high-achieving Māori and Pacific students from a New Zealand university in order to explore how programmes act as a source of support, safety and role modelling for these students.

The following article by Paora Mato, Te Taka Keegan and Leilani Naera, titled "How usable is a smartphone with a Māori-language interface?" discusses the findings from a pilot study conducted with users of a smartphone with a Māori-language interface option. It explores the opportunity for Māori to engage with technologies using their language and to participate within Māori-language communities in various digital media, as well as some of the impediments to usability.

The contribution by Emerald Muriwai and Marewa Glover, titled "Smoking, Not Our Tikanga: Exploring representations of Māori and smoking in national media" discusses the disproportionately high prevalence of smoking among Māori and the cumulative pressures that maintain these trends. The study explores the impact of media representations of Māori and smoking through examining a sample of online media from 2010 to 2015 on this topic, reporting on the four key themes of strengths-based representation, deficit-style representation, historical recognition and cultural dissociation.

The article by Fleur Harris, Sonja Macfarlane, Angus Macfarlane and Matt Jolly, titled "Māori values in the workplace: Investing in diversity" is part of a pilot study that addresses the issue of Treaty of Waitangi obligations in creating and sustaining inclusive workplaces that are reflective of Māoritanga as to promote equitable Māori-Crown partnerships. The article presents conversational interviews with four employees of a Crown Research institute, using their voices to describe workplace Māori iconography, the positioning of non-Indigenous employees as "allies" in the workplace and considers ideas to increase cultural consciousness in accordance with Treaty of Waitangi principles.

The next contribution, authored by Chanel Phillips, Anne-Marie Jackson and Hauiti Hakopa, titled "Creation Narratives of Mahinga Kai: Māori customary food gathering sites and practices" critically evaluates the emergent discourses of mahinga kai within key Māori creation narratives that stem from the Māori worldview, namely the separation of Ranginui and Papa-tū-ā-nuku, the retribution of Tū-mata-uenga and the creation of humanity. A discursive analysis of mahinga kai in Māori creation narratives confirms mahinga kai as an expression of Māori worldview and reveals a myriad of understandings.

The final article by Simon Lambert, titled "Post-disaster indigenous mental health support: Tangata whaiora networks after the 2010-2012 Ōtautahi/Christchurch earthquakes" identifies and analyses the networks of support for tangata whaiora (mental health clients) utilising a kaupapa Māori health service following the Ōtautahi/Christchurch earthquakes in Aotearoa New Zealand from 2010 to 2012. It presents findings from 39 semi-structured interviews undertaken with (Māori and Pākehā) clients, staff, managers and board members of a kaupapa Māori provider in Christchurch. The results indicate the significant isolation of both Māori and Pākehā mental health clients post-disaster and the complexity of individuals and collectives dealing with temporally and spatially overlapping hazards and disasters at personal, whānau and community level.

Articles in this issue: