Te Rau Tītapu – Wānanga Project:
Wānanga are iwi located and managed events whose purpose is to share knowledge, create knowledge and to foster community identity, cohesion and wellbeing. Wānanga are conducted regularly by every iwi community in the country and are highly valued by those communities. Wānanga are critical events in the development of iwi/Māori communities and are perhaps only eclipsed by tangihanga as the pre-eminent event of our communities. The focus of this research is to study wānanga – as a process not an institution – the purpose of which is to create models for ideal wānanga for implementation by iwi communities. We wish to understand to what benefit our communities continue to convene wānanga and how we can strengthen, deepen and improve them. The study of ideal wānanga models will contribute much to fostering creativity and innovation taking place within iwi communities. The research will follow a case study of a significant iwi project in which wānanga are utilised. The research will explore Te Rau Tītapu, a Waipoua Forest based initiative designed to foster the cohesion and identity of that community through wānanga. The research will produce models, tools and techniques drawn from the contemporary experience of convening wānanga together with understandings concerning the work of the historical whare wānanga.