Fulbright New Zealand and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence are pleased to announce Dr Haki Tuaupiki (Waikato, Ngāti Tuwharetoa) has been granted the 2020 Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award to research traditional voyaging and navigation knowledge in Hawai’i in 2020.
Tuaupiki is a Senior Lecturer at Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao - Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato, specialising in Māori navigation research and te Reo Māori revitalisation. The annual Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award is valued at up to US$37,500 for three to five months of teaching and/or research at US institutions. Tuaupiki will be based in Hawai’i for five months from July 2020, hosted by the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and the Imiloa Astronomy Center.
Tuaupiki’s planned research aims to provide a deeper understanding of Māori and Hawaiian seafaring knowledge and practises and the interconnectedness between Māori and Hawaiian cultures. His research project is titled E ara Māhutonga, e ala Hōkūpa’a: Revitalising Indigenous voyaging and navigation knowledge. Māhutonga (Southern Cross) and Hōkūpa’a (North Star) are prominent stars in the night sky used in way-finding as navigational aids across Te Moana nui a Kiwa (the Pacific).
“This research seeks to enhance the contribution that traditional Māori and Hawaiian voyaging and navigation knowledge makes to current understandings of indigenous navigation, linguistics, culture, and language; and considers how it can be revitalised within current navigation and voyaging practises,” Dr Tuaupiki says.
“Dr Tuaupiki is an outstanding Māori scholar who is uniquely leading a most exciting research programme that has at its heart mātauranga Māori knowledge. We are incredibly proud to help enable the furtherance of his significant research in this international comparative manner”, says Professor Jacinta Ruru, Co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.
Tuaupiki has recently been working on Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga funded research that is identifying the traditional Māori language of navigation with the Te Mātauranga Wakatere Waka. This is the first comprehensive study into traditional Māori navigation in te Reo Māori.
He says that much traditional voyaging and navigational knowledge and expertise is “encoded and embedded in a distinct way in karakia, mōteatea, whakataukī and pūrākau (incantation, song, proverb, speech and story).” His research in Hawai’i will seek to understand how crucial the traditional Māori and Hawaiian knowledge was to these societies, and how it can be revitalised and implemented in current practises on Māori and Hawaiian voyaging waka.
Tuaupiki’s research in Hawai’i will include interviews with navigation experts, kaumātua, voyaging practitioners, scholars and language experts. He will also undertake wānanga with Hawaiian wa’a (voyaging practitioners) to examine navigation knowledge and its connection to language, culture and practice and will share his research and experience widely on his return to Aotearoa.
“I look forward to sailing on the double hull Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Makali’i,” says Tuaupiki, “and I hope to share my research and experience with communities, students and whānau.”
Fulbright New Zealand Executive Director, Penelope Borland, says “We are so pleased to support Haki’s research and look forward to hearing more about the connections between Māori and Hawaiian traditional voyaging and navigation knowledge.”
Tuaupiki’s wife Krista Henare and five children will accompany him to Hawai’i, to share in the cultural exchange experience.
“Being able to bring whānau along can really enrich the cultural exchange experience for both the visiting scholar and hosts,” Borland said.
“Making connections and sharing knowledge contributes to the Fulbright mission, which is to increase mutual understanding and empathy through international educational and cultural exchanges between New Zealand and the United States,” she added.
Tuaupiki was raised in Tahaaroa and attended Ōtorohonga College and Hamilton Boys High School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts in te Reo Māori at the University of Waikato, and went on to complete a PhD in Māori Cultural Studies there in 2017. The calibre of his research has been recognised with past support from a Marsden Fund, Vision Matauranga Capability Fund, the University of Waikato Strategic Investment Fund and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.