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Mahika kai central focus of mātauraka Māori at Lincoln

The importance of mahika kai is emphasised in a new course being delivered this semester at Lincoln University.

Lincoln University Director, Māori and Pasifika, Dr Dione Payne, said the term was often used to refer to traditional Māori food practices, but also has a wider context.

“Mahika kai is a key component of mātauraka Māori and encompasses our relationship with the whenua and te Taiao. Although it is often associated with food cultivation, it also speaks to our engagement with, and maintenance of our environment.”

“We are the first university to deliver a mahika kai course. It is at 100 level and is both an elective paper for all programmes across the University and part of the Diploma in Organic Agrifood Production.”

She said the focus on mahika kai is synonymous with the University’s ongoing focus on land-based programmes, and Lincoln will develop further undergraduate and post-graduate level courses incorporating mahika kai as the central focus of mātauraka Māori on campus.

“Our Mātauraka Māori scholarship is also available for those Māori students taking up this course,” Dr Payne said.

A biannual Mahika Kai Conference will be held in December this year to support its ongoing delivery at Lincoln.

• Mahika kai classes start on 20 February alongside Te Reo Māori courses.

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