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Marae Ora, Kāinga Ora (MOKO) Launch

Five South Auckland marae partner with Ngā Wai a Te Tūī, Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka, Unitec, to research and strengthen Marae Ora, Kāinga Ora

Ngā Wai a Te Tūī, Unitec’s Kaupapa Māori & Indigenous Research Centre, is partnering with five urban South Auckland marae on a ground-breaking research project to explore and support their aspirations to strengthen their communities. The launch of the research will be marked with a special memorandum of understanding signing ceremony at Unitec’s Te Noho Kotahitanga marae today.

The three-year research project, known as MOKO - Marae Ora, Kāinga Ora - is led by Ngā Wai a Te Tūi Director, Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan (Waikato-Tainui), who says the aim of the research is to work with marae to explore their respective and collective aspirations, and investigate ways to best support and implement these strategic designs for the well-being and sustenance of the marae and their communities.

The marae participating in the MOKO project are: Papakura Marae; Manurewa Marae; Makaurau Marae; Mataatua Marae; and Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae. Each marae is quite different and serves a large proportion of the Māori community in the South Auckland area, so the research has the potential to have a huge impact for the marae and their surrounding communities. “Marae have always adapted to new contexts throughout the ages,and are often the first to help in times of crisis. We’d like to hear from the people within those marae, and help them to work on implementing plans to address their priorities,” said Professor Lee-Morgan.

The research team from Ngā Wai a Te Tūī will be joined by Marae Research Coordinators at the five marae, who will help to bring a unique perspective and input from each marae community. “Kaupapa Māori research projects require us to work with whānau, hapū, iwi and communities in lots of different ways, ultimately in Māori centred ways. For us, the inputs are as important as the outputs, we’re all on this journey together with an understanding that collaborative research must be beneficial to our marae, our whānau and communities,” added Professor Lee-Morgan.

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