Project Details

A two-year project to build the research capability and capacity of Māori learners by supporting them through advanced digital technologies including smart boards and video-conferencing. A collaboration of AUT University, Victoria University of Wellington, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Te Ātaarangi National Trust and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (now Ara Institute of Canterbury).


The project aimed to:

  • develop a cohort of Māori supervisors capable of supervising to completion thesis-level students in te reo Māori
  • extend students’ and lecturers’ skill and comfort with using ICT and digital technologies
  • cultivate collaborative relationships and arrangements between institutions and scholars
  • help focus other tertiary education organisations on collaborating to build Māori postgraduate scholarship
  • enhance the digital literacy of learners and educators of the Māori language.


Project design and methods included:

  • development of a pilot curriculum to be taught across multiple sites
  • using smart boards and video-conferencing technology to create an online classroom
  • creating a fully interactive environment between students and lecturers from all three sites through smart board and video-conferencing technology.



Professor Tania Ka’ai

Project Leader

AUT University
victoria university

Te Ripowai Higgins

Victoria University of Wellington and Te Ātaarangi National Trust
Te Wananga o Aotearoa

Dr Timoti Kāretu

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa
Te Ataarangi

Dr Katerina Mataira

Te Ātaarangi National Trust
Te Wananga o Aotearoa

Dr Wharehuia Milroy

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Professor John Moorfield

AUT University

Hana O’Regan

Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (now Ara Institute of Technology)

Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru

esteemed kaumātua




$128,889.00 (excl GST)

$128,889.00 National Project Fund

Key Findings

The findings of the project were:

  • It is critical that students are inducted into the programme as distance learners so they can understand the support services available to them. This can be achieved by either factoring in a wānanga (ā-tinana) before the programme begins, or through an online induction/tutorial.
  • It is critical that staff have received appropriate training on how to use the technology prior to teaching on the programme.
  • Institutional competitiveness is a huge barrier to the establishment of this programme as a shared Master of Arts in Te Reo Māori across all tertiary education organisations, a programme which could utilise the talents and expertise of a range of staff from across institutions (staff with high-quality reo and extensive knowledge of the subject area).
  • Isolation can be avoided for students by taking advantage of support programmes such as the Māori and Pasifika Postgraduate Students Wānanga held one weekend a month during the academic year, and writing retreats held twice a year.
  • Te Kāwai Kūmara programme is unique in that it offers 90 points out of 120 points of credit towards the paper for students who produce evidence of either a certificate from Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Māori, or a Māori translator’s licence from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. Students are only required to do the Research Methods paper (worth 30 points) and either a full thesis or an exegesis (dissertation and a portfolio).
  • The programme fostered collaboration between institutions and participation from staff and students who wanted to see te reo Māori flourish, and raise the quality of the reo being taught in the tertiary sector.

Key Recommendations


Te Kāwai Kūmara: The Development and Synchronous Delivery of a Postgraduate Programme across Multiple Sites

A research report prepared by Tānia Ka’ai. 

(PDF, 508 KB,19-pages).

  • 20 October 2014
Read more


EVALUATION | Te Kāwai Kūmara: A Pilot for the Synchronous Delivery of a Common Postgraduate Programme in te reo Māori across Multiple Sites

A report prepared by Rachael Tuwhangai.

(PDF, 1.1 MB, 62-pages).

  • 17 December 2010
Read more