#5. From the ground up: Māori and Community Based Research – Dr. Tia Neha

Dr. Tia Neha, Senior Lecturer in Māori and Indigenous Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington, speaks about community driven research with the example of her own doctoral studies within Māori communities, the importance of language, culture and relationships, the difference in techniques between indigenous research and western research and their place in science as a whole. 

Dr. Tia Neha's description of the Waiata (song) at the start and end of the episode
“Mā Wai Rā – Kō Henare Te Owai te Kaitito. Nō Te Aitanga a Mate, Te Whānau o Hiruharama me te Whānau o Te Aowera.

This waiata tangi (song of lament) was composed by my great grand uncle. He was my paternal great grandmother’s – Piriote (nee) Te Owai  (brother) and his name was Henare Te Owai. This side of my whānau come from the Ngāti Porou tribe, the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. He was well sought after and commissioned by Sir Apirana Ngata (a New Zealand Māori statesman who also features on the NZ $50 note) to revitalise and retain cultural performance aspects of Māori culture in Northland.

During that time my Koro lost his close friend Reverend Pine Tamehore and at the time it would take him a long time to get back to the East Coast for his tangi (Māori funeral). During his grief he composed this waiata tangi in his friend’s honour as he knew he would miss his tangi.

This waiata depicts the emotions of loss and leadership in the homelands to who will be the future leaders for Ngāti Porou from the East Coast of the North Island and in particular for the whānau from Te Aitanga a Mate, Te Whānau o Hiruharama me te Whānau o Te Aowera.

The waiata has seven verses and the waiata has become popularised in many events that take place in many Māori settings. The main verse is generally sung at these events. See below.


Mā wai rā.                                                     Who will tend   

Te marae i waho nei?                                  To the marae here?

Mā te tika, mā te pono,                              Truth, honesty

Me te aroha e.                                              And love will.”

Support us and reach out!
Instagram: @thesmoothbrainsociety
TikTok: @thesmoothbrainsociety
Twitter/X: @SmoothBrainSoc
Facebook: @thesmoothbrainsociety
Merch and all other links: Linktree
email: thesmoothbrainsociety@gmail.com


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *