Tumuakoranga Pakake Winiata has recently been on the road with his team of leads engaging with kaimahi, tauira and the wider community throughout the motu about big changes ahead for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
Pakake and his team are overseeing changes at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in three areas; programme, kaimahi development and rangahau (research).
As discussed in the last He Iringa Whare, a number of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa programmes will be “retired” and replaced by 2016.
Pakake says the first noticeable changes will be in the business, computing and vocational spaces.
While major kaimahi development is also planned over the next three to five years with kaiako throughout the country to receive more training, Pakake says
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will tread new ground by placing a greater emphasis on research and building our organisation’s capacity in this field.
“If we want to operate like a polytechnic we could get away with minimal research,” he says.
“But when I listen to Te Taiurungi saying we want to be a leading indigenous development organisation to me that has to be underpinned by research.”
Pakake says Rangahau Lead Shireen Maged has established a team so each takiwā has rangahau mentors who will be tasked with engaging different research projects.
“We need to kick things off by bringing together the people who do have some research experience in the wānanga and taking on one or two or three flagship research projects to make a bit of a splash and people will say “wow, the wānanga did that work!”
He believes the organisation can contribute majorly in terms of research provision, particularly for te reo Māori.
“We have huge provision around the reo around the country but what we don’t have underpinning that is research and development.”
“So that is one of the big things we can do and that is have a rangahau and development centre for the reo.”
“Classrooms could become in some cases laboratories for the latest and greatest theories in language acquisition, so it is a very exciting time for us.”