Master of Indigenous Studies
My pathway in tertiary study has been travelled with a group of mates working in health, education and social services. When we completed our undergraduate degrees, Awanuiārangi – a Whare Wānanga with a Kaupapa Māori focus – was the natural progression for post-graduate studies. I viewed this higher learning not only as further professional development but also as an opportunity to disseminate new information and knowledge for the benefit of whānau at the centre of my research.
My thesis focused on the 28th Māori Battalion soldiers from Ngāi Tamarāwaho, a hapū of Ngāti Ranginui in Tauranga Moana. I was driven to research this kaupapa because of the gaps in knowledge within our hapū about the identity of these men and their stories. My maternal grandfather was a member of the Battalion. The research uncovered many lost stories about the 20 men from Ngāi Tamarāwaho who served in the 28th. One research finding not widely known amongst the hapū was the loss of two men killed in action. One is interred in Tunisia and the other in Belgium.
The research was endorsed by our kāhui kaumātua and shared with members of the hapū and the whānau of these men. The thesis findings contributed to the commissioning of a taonga memorial plaque and stone on Huria marae. Now the generations of today, the uri of these soldiers, know their stories and the whakapapa connections to their koroua and to each other.
* Te Moanaroa Ngatoko was awarded the School of Indigenous Graduate Studies’ Top Scholar Award in 2017.
Kimihia he huarahi ako
What can you study?
The master’s degrees provide a friendly and supportive learning environment for students through the (mostly) noho delivery model. After completing a minimum of four papers either part time or full time, students opt for either a dissertation or thesis. This is the exciting time in a master’s degree where students are often completing research on a topic close to their hearts – it might be to do with their hapū or iwi; the school they teach in; or a social service, health or community problem. Alternatively, your thesis might be about a business, economic, art or environmental interest.