Finding the Starting Point
All Iwi that have agreed and signed aTreaty Settlement have a two page Settlement Summary Document lodged, along with other official documentation, at the Office of Treaty Settlements. On 24 May 2013, Ngāti Hauā (our iwi) and the Crown initialled a deed of settlement. The deed was then ratified by the people of Ngāti Hauā and signed on 18 July 2013. Our starting point is the Ngati Haua Deed of Settlement Summary
Identifying the site
All Settlement Summary Documents are broken down into the same consistent groupings - an agreed historical account, Crown acknowledgments and apology; cultural redress and financial and commercial redress. Our focus, to begin with, is on the cultural redress section. Cultural Redress is an attempt to acknowledge traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual associations of an iwi with certain places and locations. If the Crown owns a site within the iwi rohe then returning ownership or management of the site is often a part of the Settlement and recorded in the Cultural Redress section of the Settlement Summary.
Engaging with iwi
Ngāti Hauā descend from the eponymous ancestor Hauā, a direct descendant of Hoturoa, the captain of the Tainui waka. The hapū of Ngāti Hauå are Ngāti Te Oro, Ngāti Werewere, Ngāti Waenganui, Ngāti Te Rangitaupi and Ngāti Rangi Tawhaki.
An important focus of Map of Stories is not to put huge pressure on the personal time of local iwi members. What is non-negotiable however is engagement with and discussions with local iwi regarding an appropriate choice of site. We were inspired by Michael Harcourt's advice on initial iwi engagement to start by asking school whanau. This question resulted in a connection with Ngati Haua. This lead us to the Ngati Haua Iwi Trust Board and the chance for staff to meet and discuss sites and aspirations.
Staff conducted initial research to make sure that Maungakawa was a site that would result in significant content for the Year 7-8 students engaged in the project. It should be noted that staff made a decision to use the term 'Maungakawa' as the research starting point and to focus on Maungakawa Scenic Reserve as the site. Maungakawa actually extends across the top of the range and into the Te Tapui Scenic Reserve. Student findings stemmed from searches based on the key word 'Maungakawa' but resulted in findings for both sites. Preliminary research, the age group of the students and further liaison with Ngati Haua meant staff were comfortable making this decision. A site visit was also conducted with staff walking from the bottom to the top of Maungakawa Hill to test the concept before student engagement began.
Researching the Stories
Student-led research works well when research begins with a single, definable key word. The Settlement Summary gives us that in Maungakawa. Students began on google with no other introduction or background other than local knowledge of the site. We had a free licence with the photocopier and each find was documented in hard copy with a print out of the image, post it note or added to a list of key words. All research finds were initially stuck to the classroom wall without any thought for organisation.
As the first round of 'easy finds' fell away two things happened.
- Themes started to emerged for the students prompting a second round of research - maps; changing place names; iwi, haps and marae with connections to Maungakawa; key figures Tawhiao and Wiremu Tamihana; the Te Waikato Sanitorium; The Kauhanganui (Parliament) and the Fencourt Mansion built on the top of the hill. Each theme was assigned to a group of students who acted as lead researchers
- Connections between stories and research themes that generated new sets of key words all of their own. It was important to document these changes and to sort, re-sort, categorise and re-categorise in response to research findings. Being able to make connections across and within complex ideas was an important focus and one that required regular discussions about changes in search terms.
Evidence of Modern Day Usage.
Documenting modern day usage of the site was also important - students searched instagram, YouTube, twitter and facebook for evidence of #maungakawa. This would prove useful for drawing connections between historic and modern usage in both the artwork creation and the Instagram Project.
Sorting and categorising our findings
Students soon felt a strong need to categorise the classroom wall of research findings. there was much debate amongst the students in regard to how that would happen. Time, impact, iwi, ancestral stories, icons and personalities, pakeha use of land were all popular themes.
Categorising and re-categorising
We categorised and re-categorised our findings on the wall (blutack was a crucial product) with students documenting each sort by way of a photograph. Discussions were rich and varied and students drew more connections through their arguments for inclusion and exclusion of certain research finds.
Building an online storehouse
Each student had to document their research finds by way of an individual post for each find on a shared website. We used microblogging site Tumblr for the original site . This site has since been re-created as a blog for this website. Having a free micro-blogging site such as Tumblr or Squarespace that allowed for multiple authors was crucial in students feeling they had successfully created an online presence for their community.
Students arrived at a decision to categorise all research finds that related to pre-Raupatu use of the site by Ngati Haua - whether they be historic or ancestral as Iwi Stories.
Students struggled to identify a term that they could use to describe the period from raupatu through to settlement signing. There were so many stories. In the end they arrived at In-Between Stories.
Aspiration research focussed mainly on Ngati Haua but also included modern day usage of the site for others as well. There was acknowledgement that a place can hold many stories and with that many places in many hearts.
An artwork that demonstrates our learning
Examine the Artist's Work
The artist model for Maungakawa Stories was Tracey Tawhiao. She uses newspaper canvases for her artworks and says that she wants to create artworks that serve as "her own version of the news" and "what it is like to be Maori in a colonised country". Students looked at the core elements of her practice including use of technique, motif, palette, intertextuality.
Create meaning from the Canvas
Students downloaded a full page of the newspaper from Papers Past that contained an original secondary source they had found during their research. They made a full base canvas by attaching it to a second front page from the Settlement signing coverage. Using the knowledge gained from their research they outlined key words and phrases to create their own found poem and version of the news.
Choose the Palette
Tracey Tawhiao always uses a fixed and restricted palette, often utilising pastel colours. Student experimented with mixing colour with the aim of creating their own restricted palette of four or five colours.
Add the Motif
Using the knowledge from their research, students identified possible elements that could be used as stylised symbols for the artwork. Tawhiao uses a butterfly and a fish but students chose stars (from Te Pai o Matariki), tui to represent the kaitiakitanga role of settlement, a triangle to represent the Maunga etc.
Humans of Maungakawa
Students had a class instagram account and during the walk up Maungakawa Hill. They conducted a Humans of New York style questioning of every person they encountered along the way. They asked 'What are you doing here today?' and 'Why is this place important to you?'. The answers were recorded as the caption to the instagram and cross posted to the blog. Students drew lots of comparisons and made connections between historical use and purpose and visitors today.
Documenting the learning
It was important for us to have students document learnings both in hard copy and online. Every finding, learning reflection or connection made by students was documented as a separate post on a class blog created especially for the purpose. You can see the entire blog here but we've also highlighted key themes for you below.
The Iwi Stories
Each research find was posted to our online shared blog by students as an individual log of their learning. These are posts students chose to tag as Iwi Story.
The In Between Stories
Each research find was posted to our online shared blog by students as an individual log of their learning. These are posts students chose to tag as In Between Stories.
Each research find was posted to our online shared blog by students as an individual log of their learning. These are posts students chose to tag as Aspirations.