Tikanga for 21st century business

By Yvonne Tahana

Exponent teaches corporate leaders the etiquette and protocol of ceremonies.

They won't be able to understand everything, but they will be able to understand the sentiments expressed. Professor Pou Temara, Waikato University. Photo / Wayne Mead
They won't be able to understand everything, but they will be able to understand the sentiments expressed. Professor Pou Temara, Waikato University. Photo / Wayne Mead

Corporates uncomfortable with powhiri or other Maori meetings can sign up to a new Waikato University course aimed at giving them the skills to participate, says Professor Pou Temara.

A te reo and tikanga exponent, Professor Temara is teaching the short course Irikura, Suspended Treasures.

It is intended to enable senior managers to engage with ritual and ceremony in a meaningful way and allow them to do the right thing when the situation arises.

"I think our fathers' generation were courteous," Professor Temara said. "When they saw a Pakeha, they would break into English and welcome that Pakeha on to the marae. It didn't matter whether the English was good enough; the fact was if they saw a Pakeha they would do that.

"And then you went through a phase of Maori nationalism and the hard line which says, 'No, what happens on the marae must be in Maori and there should not be any compromise on that'. [For many] there is a sense of unease, almost foreboding. It is foreign ground to them, it's a daunting place."

Although he does not disagree with the te reo-only approach, Professor Temara argues that two things arise from that. The first is that people who cannot speak Maori are unable to participate in proceedings in any meaningful way, and it also breeds intolerance of things Maori.

The $647 course will teach students to be proficient enough in te reo Maori and tikanga to take part in occasions such as marae visits, tangi, and powhiri.

"In other words they won't be able to understand everything, but they will be able to understand the sentiments expressed.

"In whaikorero [formal speeches], you must mention the ancestors, you must come back to the living and you must accord them chiefliness.

"It's shining a light ... This is laying down a foundation where there's intercourse between the two cultures," the professor said.

He expects some students to question cultural norms, not least why many Maori women don't have speaking rights on the marae. Professor Temara said he welcomed that.

"In replying to that question, you really have to face the facts. There are more Maori-language speakers who are women than male speakers. There are more Maori women who are leaders in our social issues ... The implications are glaring for our paepae [orators' bench]. Why wouldn't you consider that a Maori woman ought to be able to speak?"


Translation

E ahei ana nga kaimahi rangatopu e manawaru ana ki te powhiri me etahi atu hui Maori te whakauru mai ki tetahi akoranga hou o Te Whare Wananga o Waikato e whai ana ki te whakarato pukenga hou ki a ratau e pai ai ta ratau whai wahi mai ki tetahi ao whakamataku ki etahi, hei ta Ahorangi Pou Temara.

Ko Ahorangi Pou Temara, matanga o te reo me nga tikanga, te kaiako o te akoranga poto a Irikura. Ka whai kiko te whakauru atu o nga kaiwhakahaere matua ki nga tikanga me nga whakahaere me te aha ka whai ratau i te mahi tika.

"Ki oku whakaaro ko te reanga o o matau matua he humarie. Ka kite ana ratau i te Pakeha, kua korero Pakeha me te whakatau i taua Pakeha ki runga i te marae. Kaore he aha mena he tapepe te reo Ingarihi, ko te mea ke mena i kite ratau i tetahi Pakeha kua mahi pera."

"Katahi ka uru atu tatau ki tetahi ahuatanga kotahitanga Maori, a, ka maro te korero e ki ana, 'Kao, ko nga whakahaere i runga i te marae me Maori anake, ka mutu kia kawa rawa e whakamama."'

"[Mo te tokomaha] kei te awangawanga, ka tata pea ki te wairua tamaki. He tauhou ki a ratau, he wahi whakamataku."

Ehara i te mea kei te whakahe ia i te tikanga reo Maori anake, e rua nga ahuatanga ka pupu ake i tena, te tohe a Ahorangi Temara. Tuatahi, ko te hunga kaore i te matatau ki te reo kaore ratau i te whai wahi totika mai ki nga whakahaere, ka mutu ka tipu te whakahe ki nga ahuatanga Maori.

He $647 te utu o te akoranga me te ako i nga akonga kia ahua matatau ki te reo me nga tikanga e pai ai ta ratau whakauru ki nga huihui penei i te haere ki te marae, nga tangihanga, me te powhiri.

"Heoi ano, ehara i te mea ka marama ratau ki nga mea katoa, engari ka whai marama ratau ki te wairua o nga korero. [I nga whaikorero] me matua whakahua i nga tipuna, me hoki mai koe ki te hunga ora, ka mutu me whakarangatira ratau e koe. He maramatanga... he whakatakoto i te tuapapa e whakawhitiwhiti ai nga ahurea e rua"Ahakoa ra, hei tana ka puta tonu nga urupounamu a nga akonga tauiwi mo nga tikanga, penei i te kore whakaaehia o te wahine Maori ki te korero i runga i te marae.

He pai ki a Ahorangi Temara tenei, nana hoki a Tuhoe me Te Arawa i wero mo te take nei.

"Me marama koe ki nga ahuatanga i to whakautu i tera patai. He maha ake nga kaikorero Maori wahine i te tane. He maha ake nga kaiarahi wahine Maori i roto i nga take papori he whai panga nui ki o tatau paepae. He aha te take kaore e whakaarohia te wahine ki te korero?"

- NZ Herald

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