Faculty of Education and Social Work


See also
cp-rewa

Rewa Paewai


Iwi: Rangitāne, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Kahungunu
Programme of Study: Master of Education - Thesis: 'Māori achieving education success as Māori: It's About Time'

“Studying at Te Puna Wānanga has provided me with the opportunity to enrol in papers that explore issues that confront and challenge Māori and their aspirations. It has also allowed me to extend my knowledge of mātauranga Māori, not only within the realms of academia, but also in my personal life and my work life.”

What are your aspirations?

I have many aspirations in life: the first is to be a thoughtful and loving hākui, whaea, tamahine, tuahine/tuakana/teina and mokopuna; the second is to live my life in a way that is mindful of the environment. Another important goal, and this is uppermost in my mind at the moment, is to become a fluent speaker of te reo Māori, which is the cornerstone of Te Ao Māori.

“Ko tō tātou nei reo he rite ki te karanga o te ata-haeata, te uranga mai o te rā, te tiororo o ngā manu, te ngaoko o te moana, te ngarue o te whenua - he reo mauri, wairua ano tō tātou nei reo.”

These aspirations have also motivated my career in education and my studies. As a former te reo Māori teacher I wanted all learners to have access to quality education. I was particularly focused on Māori learners, because in my experience, Māori learners are marginalised in the education system. I want Māori learners in all schools to have the opportunity to learn about te reo Māori and tikanga Māori, to feel confident about being Māori, and to use this knowledge as the foundation upon which to build successful lives.

What is your current research about?

Time – as a concept and in practice – in the New Zealand education system operates as a ‘system of power’, and while NZ schools, including kura kaupapa and Māori medium schools, operate on particular Western notions of time, the possibilities for ‘Māori achieving education success as Māori’ are necessarily limited.

My thesis centres and examines Māori notions of time and argues that Māori time is at the very core of Te Ao Māori - Māori identity, language and culture. While it is relatively simple, on the surface, to desire educational success ‘as Māori’, I explore to what extent this can be achieved in an educational environment where fundamental cultural assumptions about, and meanings of, time are already and uncritically in place.

What do you enjoy about studying in Te Puna Wānanga?

I enjoy studying and working in an environment in which te reo Māori is spoken and valued, and tikanga Māori is practiced as an everyday, normal experience.

Studying at Te Puna Wānanga has provided me with the opportunity to enrol in papers that explore issues that confront and challenge Māori and their aspirations. It has also allowed me to extend my knowledge of mātauranga Māori, not only within the realms of academia, but also in my personal life and my work life.

I particularly appreciate the support that my supervisors and lecturers at Te Puna Wānanga have given me throughout my PostGrad studies. Of course, in the end I’m the one that has to be motivated and disciplined but help is there when I need it, particularly when the going gets tough.

What advice would you give to other Māori who are considering postgraduate studies?

I had been thinking about doing postgrad papers for a while, and at some point everything came together, and it became possible for me to further my studies. I no longer had any excuses.

I would advise anyone wanting to further their studies to call on good friends for support. Enrolment was a barrier for me - it seemed so complicated - so I asked a friend to help me enrol. She dragged me into the student centre, helped me choose some papers and then enrolled me.

Enrol in the same papers as your mates and then you can all help other. My success so far has been a collective effort, because I’ve relied on my friends to keep me going. We attended classes together, studied together, shared readings, and moaned about how hard it all was – and then we all passed our papers and it was great!

Top