Published: Nov. 22, 2019

Wānanga is becoming an increasingly common practice utilized by Māori researchers today, with deep roots in Māori and iwi tikanga, culture, and rituals of learning and knowledge transmission. There is a small body of writing on wānanga focused on both traditional Whare Wānanga and the more recent establishment of equivalent modern day Māori tertiary institutions. While this scant literature generally explores wānanga as indigenous schools of learning, there is even less available work on wānanga as a research method. Nevertheless, Māori have been using wānanga explicitly as a part of their research for some time, but this writing is scattered usually in the methodology sections of various theses and other studies. This paper provides a discussion of the increasingly popular use of wānanga as a methodological practice noting some of this existing work. It offers a brief overview of the definitions and traditional roots of wānanga, and then draws on two specific iwi case studies to explore how wānanga works methodologically. This presentation is based on a written paper that we are about to have published.


Dr Rangimārie Mahuika is a Fulbright Visiting scholar of Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Whakaue and Te Rarawa descent. She has an interdisciplinary background, having trained as both a Lawyer and an elementary school teacher in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Rangimarie has completed a Masters in Education and taught Kaupapa Māori Research Theory and Methods at Te Kura Toi, Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato. She has also completed a Doctorate, focusing on indigenous governance within the tribal nation of Ngāti Rangiwewehi at Te Piringa Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato. Rangimārie has been fortunate to be involved in a wide range of research projects within her own tribal community and is passionate about the potential Indigenous ways of knowing, being and governing hold for transforming and healing our world. 

Dr Nēpia Mahuika is of Ngāti Porou descent. He is chair of the Māori historians’ collective of Aotearoa, and Convenor of History at the University of Waikato. He is a Fulbright scholar and President of the National Oral History Association of New Zealand. His most recent book, Rethinking Oral History and Tradition (OUP) challenges the Western dominated field of oral history, and he has just been awarded the inaugural Judith Binney Fellowship 2019 to write A History of Makutu (“witchcraft”) in Aotearoa.


Friday, December 6th in Hellems 199 from 3:00-4:30PM * please visit our facebook page for a live recording of the presentation.