Pōwhiri: a face-to-face encounter
The ceremony of powhiri has become a regular feature of welcome ceremonies in present day Aotearoal New Zealand, including within government funded organizations. This study is centered on the exploration of the experiences of beginning students in relation to the Dunedin College of Education 2006 powhiri. Firstly we look at the position of the researcher in relation to things Maori and to the ceremony at the heart of the study. Next we examine traditional understandings of powhiri and underlying issues concerning the integration of the ceremony into mainstream culture and government institutions in this country. Individual interviews are used as the method to gain a rich depth of information related to the participants' feelings, thoughts and experiences as they relate to the focus of this study. The emergent research design of the study allowed me to respond to the inquiry progressively, and to gather data using open ended probes in response to participant dialogue. Fifteen participant interviews were conducted. The data was collated from each interview in order to provide the reader with an authentic picture of the experience of each participant in relation to the powhiri. Within the study the reader is provided with opportunities to gain a glimpse of the background and culture of each participant. The data is presented using participant voice which provides trustworthiness in the findings of the study. Throughout this study a tuakana - teina stance was taken, firstly in relation to my consultation with Huata Holmes and Anna Marsich, and secondly in my associations with the participants. Huata holds expert knowledge of te ao Maori, Anna held the knowledge of the history of the inclusion of powhiri at the Dunedin College of Education. The participants were considered the experts, in relation to their own thoughts and experiences. The role of teina person seeking knowledge, remained with me. The underlying theoretical foundation of the study is social constructivism, where meaning is shaped through interaction between individuals and in relation to their previous experience. This study provided the opportunity to explore individual participant's perceptions and experience of the powhiri. The findings lead on to avenues for discussion and further study. In keeping with the tuakana - teina stance, findings were sent to Huata Holmes for his consideration. The findings were also shared with College of Education management and academic staff. The reader should note that te reo Maori (Maori language) is used regularly throughout this thesis. Each word/ phrase is translated or explained in English the first time it appears. A glossary of Maori terms is provided for the reader to refer to as needed.
Advisor: Gasson, Ruth; Lawrence, Julie
Degree Name: Master of Education (Teaching)
Degree Discipline: Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis