By providing the option to study under either a Te Reo (TREO) or Māori and Indigenous (MAI) major, or a combination of the two, Aotahi allows students to design a University experience suitable to their individual study needs and interests.
A student may enrol for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with either Māori and Indigenous Studies or Te Reo Māori as the major subject, or both. The school's courses are taken by students who want to understand more about Māori and New Zealand history, as well as the histories of other indigenous peoples and importantly the indigenous language of this country.
What is Māori and Indigenous Studies?
Māori and Indigenous Studies is an academic discipline that aims to increase your analytic and communication skills and develop your capacity for independent thought. Māori and Indigenous Studies encourage students to examine the world in which we live as New Zealanders and challenge their position and understanding of contemporary issues by studying our history and those of other indigenous peoples. Subject within the courses offered through Aotahi include:
- The Treaty of Waitangi
- Effects of colonisation
- New Zealand and Māori history
- Contemporary issues
- Indigenous and human rights
- Revitalisation of indigenous peoples
What are Te Reo Māori Studies?
Aotearoa/New Zealand recognises two official languages, of which one is sign language and the other is Te Reo Māori. There are a number of ways to study the Māori language. Students can engage with the culture by learning Te Reo Māori and practising it outside of the University environment. Here at Aotahi students can also actively study the Māori language and how it has developed over time through influences such as colonisation, slang and even text messaging. Language decline and revitalisation are paramount in understanding and appreciating the indigenous language of our country and that is why Aotahi offer a wide range of topics including:
- Te Reo Māori: From absolute beginner to advanced levels
- Language revitalisation
- Kapa Haka
- Translation and transcription
- Whaikōrero and karanga
- Ngā tikanga o te marae
Why Take Māori and Indigenous Studies and/or Te Reo Māori?
The relationship between Māori and Pakeha gives New Zealand its unique identity. Courses in the school reflect your history and experience, so Māori and Indigenous Studies is a dynamic area of study for everyone, with implications for your future as part of New Zealand society.
The academic study of Māori language and society has become an increasingly popular degree option as a result of changing government policy and social attitudes. Careers have opened up in areas such as teaching, library work, law, research, iwi organisations, and policy analysis and in the service delivery areas of government, local body and private organisations.
It is a huge advantage to you, whatever your major, to be able to pronounce words properly and to be comfortable with Māori-speaking people. It is a bigger advantage to be able to understand Māori-speaking people and speak to them in their own language.
Māori and Indigenous Studies is also relevant to other subjects such as history, sociology, political science, English, education, law and religious studies, but because of its special role in expressing New Zealand identity, it can strengthen any degree which trains you for a career in dealing with people and culture.