He Waka Hiringa - Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge

  • Level 9
  • 2 years - full-time
  • Fees apply

Programme overview:

Are you an experienced practitioner of indigenous knowledge who wants to enhance your education and practice and give back to your community?

This practical master’s programme provides you with a qualification, while enabling you to plan and complete a community-based project. It is an opportunity to broaden your worldview, explore indigenous knowledge from humanistic, ancestral or sacred perspectives and make a difference to your community.

Underpinned by indigenous values and principles, He Waka Hiringa challenges practitioners to consider the holistic needs of indigenous people from a traditional and contemporary perspective. Through applied practice and rangahau you will explore how your practice can address current issues affecting indigenous people locally or globally.

This programme attracts practitioners such as educators, social workers, artists, health workers, healers, environmentalists, reo and tikanga experts.

When you pass this master's degree, you'll get this qualification:

  • Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge Level 9

You'll learn about:

  • exploring the depth of your topic through indigenous inquiry and research
  • indigenous philosophical frameworks
  • how principles inform practice
  • planning and implementing a community project
  • academic requirements at master's level

How you'll study:

This master's degree consists of 240 credits delivered over 2 years. Throughout the programme you will be required to attend:

Year 1:

  • 5 x 5-day noho (32 hours per noho, total noho hours = 160 hours)
  • 5 x 8-hour wānanga (40 hours in total)
  • 20 x 2-hour wānanga whāiti (tutorials)

You'll also need to complete other learning activities designed to enhance your learning for approximately:

  • 24 hours per week

Year 2:

  • 6 x 5-day noho (32 hours per noho, total noho hours = 192 hours)
  • 6 x 8-hour wānanga (48 hours in total)

You'll also need to complete other learning activities designed to enhance your learning for approximately:

  • 27.5 hours per week

Some of the learning activities will need to be completed online. You’ll need to have access to an internet-connected device for this programme.

Entry criteria:

To enrol in this programme, a potential student must:

  • be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident
  • reside in New Zealand
  • have an undergraduate degree or equivalent in any relevant area


  • have documentary evidence of a high order of indigenous knowledge gained through formal study, professional or other experience


  • a project-based idea that is supported by whānau, your community or a specific group
  • make a significant contribution to Māori society, or other indigenous people/culture
  • have letters of support from hapū, iwi or community group(s).

All applicants are required to meet with the interview panel to present their applications.

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

You might be eligible to further your education through doctoral study at other institutions.

I want to use my qualification

You can increase your career opportunities within your specialist field of practice.

Fee detail:

The 2024 fee for He Waka Hiringa are:

  • Year 1: $6,144
  • Year 2: $6,010

GST Inclusive.

Kōnae Ako (Learning Modules):

Mōhiotanga (Experience and Knowledge Production) | 30 Credits

In this kōnae ako (module) tauira will explore the nature of knowledge (epistemology) and critically evaluate the way that tacit knowledge (knowing gained through direct experience) influences practice. Tauira will examine the intergenerational transfer of traditional knowledge and the preservation of indigenous ways of knowing and will position themselves as indigenous practitioners within their specialised field of practice. At the completion of this kōnae ako, tauira will develop and present a holistic model of understanding that reflects their practice.  

Mātauranga (Thought and Knowledge Production) | 30 Credits

In this kōnae ako, tauira will deconstruct their practice with reference to underlying Māori/indigenous principles and values, and compare and contrast these with other indigenous practitioners. Tauira will critically evaluate a range of indigenous models/frameworks related to indigenous thought reification and develop their own distinctive principle based model of practice.  

Māramatanga (Wisdom and Knowledge Production) | 30 Credits

This kōnae ako will provide tauira with the skills and knowledge to formulate and interpret values and ideas of knowledge through philosophical inquiry. Tauira will explore philosophy with the intent of critiquing ethical issues, logic and debates about the nature of indigeneity. In this kōnae ako, tauira will synthesise information from literary, oral and/or visual sources to support a Māori/indigenous philosophical position that relates to field of practice. 

Mauri Ora (Wellbeing, Knowing and Transformation) | 30 Credits

In this kōnae ako, tauira will design an indigenous community-based rangahau project that will be implemented in kōnae ako - Maumaharatanga. This kōnae focuses on specific aspects of indigenous rangahau design including the selection of a relevant rangahau topic; constructing pertinent rangahau questions, identifying appropriate rangahau approaches and outlining the tikanga rangahau (ethical) considerations associated with indigenous rangahau. Tauira will develop a kaupapa proposal and complete a tikanga rangahau (ethics) application as part of this kōnae ako.   

Maumaharatanga (Applied Indigenous Knowledge Project and Exegesis) | 120 Credits

This kōnae ako is the pinnacle of tauira knowledge and practices in He Waka Hiringa: Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge. It provides the vehicle to apply and evaluate learning within the context of an applied project connected to indigenous epistemology and an indigenous community. At the end of the kōnae, tauira will present their taonga tuku iho (sustainable resource) and communicate the findings of their projects. Tauira will also produce a written report (an exegesis) as part of this final kōnae ako.  

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