OPINION: Rangatira mō āpōpō, the leaders of the future, is a whakataukī that is used to describe young people. It is often heard in the modified form that shows that they are also leaders of today, of inaianei.
I was inspired by the very real leadership of some of our young people on Monday. As part of Brain Research NZ we were in the presence of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani students. Let me get you there.
I stand on the tomokanga, the entrance of Hoani Waititi marae. Waiting for the carriage to pull us forward and which, along with one of our favorite kui, Dr Waiora Port, will respond. This is the third year of annual wānanga with total Kura dipping.
Standing there, at that moment, I know all the stories and all the people who led me to this exact moment. Have you ever had one of those moments where I felt all the parts of your life unite?
And deep inside, do you know you are exactly where you have to be and do exactly what you have to do? The time remains completely motionless. You see and feel all the experiences that brought you at this exact moment. Finally, do they all make sense? This is one of them.
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What follows is an excellent exchange, a pōwhiri, a ritual meeting. Time honored tradition. We travel across the atea marble, the open space in front of the house, and then into the transport corps of the ancestor, the wharenui, the house of the meeting.
I am there as a matchmaker among our national cultures, our generations. I know this is the first marian wānanga for some of our neuroscientists. Some have told me that they feel anxious and afraid to commit an offense. And slowly over time, over every wānanga, grow up with confidence. Using their pepeha. Relaxing and coordinating whakaaro Māori, Māori thinks.
Students are also shy, with respect, and over the last few years they have been increasingly involved in describing their own interests and questions. For our researchers these experiences have lived to build cultural ability. We create a common sense of belonging and citizenship.
We work hard to build real relationships between our partners from Māori to Brain Research NZ. At this stage we have two, one is with this whānau. The other is with the whānau of Puketeraki Marae in Karitane.
One of the main difficulties with the existing health research funding model is that, when research resources are depleted, in most cases the relationship with Māori participants or stakeholders is over.
Therefore, we are not relying on the whims of the money of the research program to support these relations. We are committed to long-term relationships with the Māori community partners, because this is our priority. And that is the expectation in our contract with the Higher Education Commission.
So many powerful reasons to do this: Encourage our students to look at their careers in science by seeing themselves in these jobs and seeing how to improve them.
Ultimately, they will determine the research agenda by improving our research so that it can bring real benefit to Māori. Supporting the careers of Māori researchers.
Breathing the same air has an excellent osmotic effect. Breaking the obstacles, learning from each other, seeing beyond the titles, beyond the ages, beyond stereotypes.
One of the key issues of the day highlighted by the tauira was the recognition of the vital role of mokopuna. Moko, the traditional signage, also the face; and the pine, the spring, the pool, and the verb puna, which means flow.
The inextricable bond between grandparents and grandparents that manifest themselves in the characteristics of the grandchild. For me, this also refers to the inexhaustible source of love between grandchildren and grandparents. So, you see how the vital relationship between the monk, grandchildren and grandparents is embedded in the word itself. Our debates began on the vital role of grandchildren in influencing the health and well-being of their grandparents and grandparents.
It may seem odd, as we are the Excellence Research Center of the "aging brain" to think about the relationship between the generations. It makes perfect sense to me. For one thing, does the brain begin to get older from the moment of conception properly?
And if we strengthen young people with knowledge, we are already working on prevention. These wānanga are invaluable in questioning conventional thinking about what the concept of "aging brain" can mean. And for the neuroscience institutions these discussions, with whānau, with Kura, with tauira, are so new.
Lessons learned in leadership, coming from these grandchildren, these mokopuna. Now you have to be witnesses to their performance! Leadership, next level.