A lesson from our young leaders
neuroscientists. Some have told me they feel anxious and fearful of causing offence. And slowly over time, over each wa¯ nanga, they grow in confidence. Using their pepeha. Relaxing and tuning into whakaaro Ma¯ ori, Ma¯ ori thinking.
We work hard to build real relationships between our Ma¯ ori community partners at Brain Research NZ. At this stage we have two, one is with this wha¯ nau. The other is with the wha¯ nau of Puketeraki Marae in Karitane.
One of the key difficulties with the existing health research funding model is that when the research funds run out that is the end of the relationship with the Ma¯ ori participants or stakeholders, in most cases.
So we commit to long-term relationships with our Ma¯ ori community partners because that is our priority, and that is the expectation in our contract with the Tertiary Education Commission.
So many potent reasons to do this right: encouraging our students to consider careers in science, seeing themselves in these kinds of jobs and seeing how they would improve them. Eventually, they will determine the research agenda, improving our research so it can deliver real benefit for Ma¯ ori.
One of the key themes of the day highlighted by the tauira was the recognition of the vital role of mokopuna. Moko, the traditional marking, also the person; and puna, the spring, pool, as well as the verb puna, meaning flow.
The inextricable link between the grandparents manifested in the traits of the grandchild. Our discussions honed in on the vital role of grandchildren influencing their grandparents’ health and well being.
It might seem strange, given we are the Centre Of Research Excellenceof the ‘‘ageing brain’’, for us to be thinking about the relationship between generations. Makes perfect sense to me. For one thing, the brain starts ageing from the moment of conception right?
And if we are empowering the young with knowledge, we are already working in prevention. These wa¯ nanga are invaluable in challenging conventional thinking around what the concept of the ‘‘ageing brain’’ might mean. And for neuroscience institutions these discussions – with wha¯ nau, with Kura, with tauira – in this way, are new.
These lessons in leadership, coming from these grandchildren, these mokopuna and their performance takes leadership to the next level.
Rangatira mo¯ a¯po¯po¯ Leaders of the future
Hoani Waititi marae provided the setting for Brain Research NZ’s third annual wa¯ nanga with the total immersion Kura.