Whakatangata kia kaha : toitū te whakapapa, toitū te tuakiri, toitū te mana : an examination of the contribution of Te Aute College to Māori advancement : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The thesis examines the contribution of Te Aute College to Maori advancement by exploring
the whakapapa of Te Aute College and the brand that has developed out of the school’s
whakapapa from its beginnings in 1854 prior to major European settlement in the Hawkes
Bay through to the 21st century. In doing so, the notion of whakapapa is used to reveal the
layers of tradition, history, connections, narratives, achievements and setbacks that have
enabled the realisation of Maori potential and the ability of Te Aute College to sustain a
contribution to the advancement of Maori. This thesis contends that the contribution of Te
Aute College to Maori advancement stems from its whakapapa and its brand that is
unequivocally Te Aute in focus and character.
An Indigenous Maori research paradigm, a whakapapa research methodology, provides the
context for researching Te Aute College, the basis of this thesis. The thesis also explores
whakapapa as a tool that can be used as a legitimate research framework when engaging in
Maori research. It posits an Indigenous Maori research approach as a paradigm base for a
philosophical and theoretical discourse when researching Maori institutions and communities.
This thesis signifies the continuation of both a personal and professional journey that
originates from the author’s enduring interest in and sense of obligation to contributing to the
story of Te Aute College. The initial thesis discourse contextualises the research through a
historical chronology of the tangata whenua connection to the research community; of the
first 150 years of Te Aute College providing education for predominantly young male Maori
and of the ‘special character’ education that is offered by Te Aute College today.
Three interconnecting themes provide the systematic basis for exploring the distinctive yet
simultaneously universal layers of Te Aute College that emerged as significant to this
research; the Te Aute Experience, the contribution of Te Aute College and He Toa Takitini -
Collaboration. Finally, an analysis is given of these themes in conjunction with the
whakapapa of Te Aute College and the future role of Te Aute College in sustaining its
contribution to the advancement of Maori.