A Unity of Peoples, Spirits, and Lands

  • Linita Manu’atu
  • M. Kēpa
  • M. Pepe
  • M. I. Taione


The ambiguous histories of colonization and decolonization continue to vex groups of indigenous and indigenous migrant peoples as we critique the loss of our people, spirits, and lands, to address the crimes against us, and seek to contribute to humanity, especially, indigenous humanity. Our languages, cultural traditions, values, and histories can be instructive in matters of the spirit in the prevailing English-speaking societies in which we live. With increasing numbers of students from different languages, cultures, and societies enrolling in the university in Aotearoa, New Zealand, the questions for indigenous and migrant Pasifika academics and researchers in the broad area of education are: is there the possibility for an education that affirms the spirit of a diverse student population? Furthermore, can academics create an education that draws from our people, our spirits, and our lands in an English-speaking, Eurocentric, free-market institution? The resounding response to both questions from the authors, an indigenous Māori, a New Zealand born-Cook Islands Māori-Scots teacher, and two migrant Tongan scholars, is “Yes, we should resurrect the unity of people, spirits, and lands in education and, we know how”.

In this chapter, the authors discuss their contribution to a new degree in the university. Working through the conception of HauFolau the authors will discuss the spirit of aro’a/love drawn from the language of Cook Islands Māori; and the cultural practices kanohi ki te kanohi/face-to-face relations, and talanoamālie/peaceful dialogue drawn from the languages and cultures of indigenous Māori, and Tongan people.


Unity of peoples Unity of spirit Linguistically diverse Culturally diverse Decolonization Pasifika Peoples Ethnicity Migration Early childhood education Hau Folau Maori Tongan Cook Islands Kanohi ki te kanohi Face-to-face relationships 


  1. Abels, B. (2011). Austronesian soundscapes–performing arts in Oceania and Southeast Asia. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Abu-Saad, I., & Champagne, D. (2006). Indigenous education and empowerment. International perspectives. Lanham: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  3. Armstrong, J. (2009). A cultural cataclysm. Weekend Australian Review. August 1–2.Google Scholar
  4. AUT University. (2003, March). School of education Te Kura Mātauranga. CUAP documentation Pasifika early childhood teaching. National Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education, Pasifika).Google Scholar
  5. Bedford, R. (2011). The changing face of Pacific migration to New Zealand: A review of the evidence. Keynote address. Critiquing Pasifika Education @ the University. 3rd Biennial Conference. 3–5 July, 2011. The Auckland University of Technology, Manukau Campus.Google Scholar
  6. COMET (2011). Education landscapes. Retrieved April 16, 2011, from
  7. Doerr, N. M. (2009). Meaningful inconsistencies. Bicultural nationhood, the free market, and schooling in Aotearoa/New Zealand. New York: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  8. Finau, S.A. (2008). Pasifika@Massey strategy: Cultural democracy in practice. Special Edition/Special Issue. Critiquing Pasifika Education. ALTERNATIVE An International Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, 24–44. ISSN 1177-1801.Google Scholar
  9. Helu Thaman, K. (2003). Staff development for culturally inclusive teaching and learning in higher education. Keynote Address. Proceedings of the Colloquium for Tertiary Teachers Teaching and Learning with Pasifika Students. Auckland University of Technology, February 3–5.Google Scholar
  10. Helu-Thaman, K. (2010). Ko e kato ‘i he loto kato: Pacific ECE education as if culture matters. Keynote address, AUT University 10th Anniversary & Launch of AlterNative Journal of Indigenous Peoples, Manukau Campus. 22 Sept.Google Scholar
  11. Irwin, K., Hetet, L., MacLean, S., & Pōtai, S. (2013). At the personal/interpersonal level, a stream of kōrero related to mokopuna as taonga. In What works with Māori: What the people said research report (p. 15). Wellington: Families Commission Research.Google Scholar
  12. Kēpa, M. (2008). Languages and cultures. Learning and teaching betwixt worlds. Special Edition/Special Issue. Critiquing Pasifika Education. ALTERNATIVE an International Journal of Indigenous Scholarship. 57–67. ISSN 1177–1801.Google Scholar
  13. Kēpa, M. (2010). Cultural fragments. Concerning Māori research development. He Pūkenga Korero Journal. Māori Studies: Te Pūtahi a Toi. Massey University: Te Kunenga ki Purehuroa. Raumati (Summer), 9 (2) pp. 21–28.Google Scholar
  14. Kēpa, M. (2013). Arohanui, Aro’anui, ‘Ofa atu, ‘Alofaatu, Alofiatu, Aloha, Love! Education for Criticism. Critiquing Pasifika Education @ the University. 4th Biennial Conference Proceedings, pp 8–18. Manukau Conference Centre: AUT University. ISBN 978-1-927184-13-4.Google Scholar
  15. Kēpa, M., & Manu’atu, L. (2008c). TalanoaMālie. Transcultural education and peace. Measina a Samoa Proceedings. Centre for Samoan Studies: National University of Samoa, 2 & 3, 43–48.Google Scholar
  16. Kēpa, M., & Manu’atu, L. (2008a). Pedagogical decolonization: Impacts of the European/Pākehā society on the education of Tongan people in Aotearoa-New Zealand. American Behavioral Scientist Journal, 51(12), 1801–1816 Online ISSN 1552-3381 Print ISSN 0002-7642.Google Scholar
  17. Kēpa, M., & Manu’atu, L. (2011). Pedagogy, political knowledge, cultural diversity, and ‘Tonganness’. International Review of Education. Special Issue on Principles and Innovations in Multilingual Education. ‘Online First’ on SpringerLink: doi: 10.1007/s11159-011-9249-1
  18. Kēpa, M., & Manu’atu, L. (2012). An indigenous and migrant critique of principles and innovation in education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. International Review of Education, 57(Issue 5), 617–630. doi: 10.1007/s11159-011-9249-1.Google Scholar
  19. Kōkiri, T. P. (2010). Realising Māori potential. Key facts about Māori. Wellington: Te Puni Kōkiri.Google Scholar
  20. Manu’atu, L. (2013). Mālō e ‘ofa! Renewing the spirits of Tongan migrants through a new educational programme @ the University. Critiquing Pasifika Education @ the University. 4th Biennial Conference Proceedings. Manukau Conference Centre: AUT University. ISBN 978-1-927184-13-4.Google Scholar
  21. Manu’atu, L; Kēpa, M; Taione, ML; & Pepe, M. (2015). Revised paper. Taulangi & Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga. Collective Wisdoms Connecting Education to Peace. Speaking back through research 2014 AARE/NZARE Conference Proceedings. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 30 Nov–4 Dec 2014.Google Scholar
  22. Ministry of Education. (1996). Ko e ako ‘a e kakai Pasifika: Pacific Islands peoples’ education in Aotearoa, New Zealand towards the twenty-first century. Wellington: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  23. Ministry of Education. (2011). Updated 6 April 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  24. Pepe, M. (2013). Inangaro, Aroha, love and education. Critiquing Pasifika Education @ the University. 4th Biennial Conference Proceedings (pp 19–30). Manukau Conference Centre: AUT University. ISBN 978-1-927184-13-4.Google Scholar
  25. Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies. Research and indigenous peoples. Dunedin: University of Otago Press.Google Scholar
  26. Southwick, M. (2005). Pacific peoples in New Zealand. In K. Dew & P. Davis (Eds.), Health and society in Aotearoa New Zealand. Auckland: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Taione, M.I. (2013). Loto’Ofa WhatuManawa: A new frame for researching Indigenous and Migrant Education (IME). Critiquing Pasifika Education @ the University. 4th Biennial Conference Proceedings. Manukau Conference Centre: AUT University. ISBN 978-1-927184-13-4.Google Scholar
  28. Taufe’ulungaki, ‘A. M. (2004). Fonua: Reclaiming Pacific communities in Aotearoa. Paper presented at LotuMo’ui: Pacific Health Symposium Counties-Manukau District Health Board. Waipuna Hotel, Auckland.Google Scholar
  29. West, C. (1993). The new cultural politics of difference. In S. During (Ed.), The cultural studies reader. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linita Manu’atu
    • 1
  • M. Kēpa
    • 1
  • M. Pepe
    • 1
  • M. I. Taione
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Education Te Kura MataurangaAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations