Pūrākau-ā-iwi and Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Reshaping Teacher Identities, Practices and Positioning in the Context of Globalisation

  • Willian KnightEmail author


This chapter looks to explore the ways in which teachers who have experienced a bicultural approach to initial teacher education (ITE) have enhanced their understandings of indigenous knowledge in a way which strengthens local identity. This local identity is seen as a buffer against homogenising pressures of globalisation and explores the links between colonisation in times past and globalisation today. Research has been conducted using Kaupapa Māori research methodologies, focusing on a narrative approach to changing teacher identities, and the ways in which bicultural education has supported this. This is supported by examining the role Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) plays in informing these identities and underscoring the importance of kaitiakitanga (stewardship) in protecting indigenous knowledge. The research found significant shifts in teacher identity with relation to pūrakau-ā-iwi (traditional narratives) and greater understandings of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This contributed to a better appreciation of a range of cultures within teachers’ centres, and for teachers who were Māori, a reclaiming of their own identity as indigenous, and increased confidence in making that identity part of their teaching practice.




God or gods.


Support, help or embrace.









Kaupapa Māori

For Māori purposes, or conducted within a Māori worldview, or in accordance with Māori principles.





Mana Whenua

Power or authority over the land. Usually refers to the relationship of customary guardians to the land which their ancestors occupied.


Care or hospitality. A key component, if not the key component of te ao Māori.


Traditional meeting house.

Mātauranga Māori

Māori indigenous knowledge.

Mātauranga taketake

Indigenous knowledge.


Traditional recitation of greeting. Similar to, and will often include, a pepeha (see below).


Regional diaelct.


Person of British or European descent. Usually refers to New Zealanders of British or European descent but can also refer to white-skinned individuals descending from western countries including Europe, Scandinavia and the United States.


A tribal recitation or saying, usually unique to each person. The pepeha will usually refer to the speaker’s mountain, river, marae and extended family.


A traditional welcoming ceremony, usually onto a Marae.




Pūrākau belonging to a specific, (usually geographically located) tribe (iwi).

Taha Māori

Māori dimension of a person.


Indigenous, untouched by colonisation.



Tangata Whenua

A person of the land – descended from the land’s original inhabitants.


Treasure or item of significance. Also includes non-tangible treasures such as language, culture and traditional knowledge.

Taonga Māori

Treasure or items of cultural significance to Māori.

Taonga tuku iho

A treasure passed down from one generation to the next.


Sacred or restricted.


To protect or defend (preserve).


Traditional protocols and customs.

Te ao Māori

The Māori world; the world as seen through a Māori worldview.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The treaty of Waitangi, generally considered to be New Zealand’s founding document, signed in February 1840 at Waitangi.


Literally ‘A place for the feet to stand’. Refers to a person’s birthplace and/or a place that a person calls home.


Song, or to sing.




Traditional proverb of uncertain origin.


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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ECNZ Te Rito MaiohaHastingsNew Zealand

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