THE KEI UTA COLLECTIVE – Specialist transdisciplinary platforms that increase access to, and understanding of Māori socio-spatial relations, whilst changing with a changing climate

Maynooth University Department of Geography and the IRC New Foundations Scheme invites you to attend a seminar presented by


Professor Huhana Smith, Massey University

THE KEI UTA COLLECTIVE – Specialist transdisciplinary platforms that increase access to, and understanding of Māori socio-spatial relations, whilst changing with a changing climate’.

Thursday, 17th October, 2019

4-5:30pm, Rocque Lab, Rhetoric House, Maynooth University


Irish Studies’ Seminar Series – Tuesday 22 October 2019, Moore Institute, National University of Galway

Iwi and hāpu Māori draw their mana, their authority and leadership as hapū and whanau (collective groupings) from their whakapapa or human genealogical relationships to the natural environment. These relationships are bound by wairua (spirit) to ancestral lands and are rooted in local culture.

Local knowledge of place is the source of ‘knowing’ cosmology inseparable from the multiple tasks of living well in a specific place over a long period of time. Via taunahanahatanga or bespeaking the land through hīkoi (transdisciplinary knowledge experts walking/talking across lands) and use of korero tuku iho (oral narratives of place), these kaupapa Māori or holistic Māori methodological approaches to research align with simultaneous action on the ground.

By also drawing on Māori concepts of time and space; cultures, communities, local, regional government and environmental entities can come together with common purpose to recognise, prepare for, and adapt to, the vulnerabilities of a changing climate.

Kei Uta Collective is a transdisciplinary research team who have worked together since 2014 to determine necessary adaptation toolkits and transition action plans that aim to mitigate uncontrollable climate change, its unpredictability and prepare communities in the short term for their long term protection.

The Kei Uta Collective have created unique and compelling collaborations where culture, science, design and contemporary art privilege Māori ideas of ecological/cultural sustainability, and which are location-specific to Kuku, Horowhenua, Te Ika a Maui/North Island, Aotearoa New Zealand.

All are welcome

Huhana Smith is Head of Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. She is a visual artist, curator and principle investigator for a research team who collectively engages in major collaborative, trans-disciplinary, kaupapa Māori and action-research projects for Māori lands and waterways. Her art practice overviews her iwi and hapū, and her own involvement in these projects. In recent years, her research team has investigated freshwater decline into the marine for Māori water/coastal lands and related biodiversity. More recently, she is co-principle investigator for climate change research that addresses the concerns for coastal Horowhenua to Kāpiti regions in Māori land tenure. Huhana actively encourages the use of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge systems) as research methods with sciences. She is an advocate for art and design’s visual systems when combined in exhibitions as research techniques. Such exhibitions expand how solutions might integrate complex issues and make solutions more accessible for local communities.

Published by Cathy Fitzgerald

Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald, PhD, is a New Zealander, ecosocial (ecological) artist, innovative educator and researcher now living in Ireland. She completed her PhD by Practice 'The Ecological Turn: Living Well with Forests to articulate ecosocial art practice using Guattari’s ecosophy and action research', in 2018, at the National College of Art and Design in Ireland. She continues her ongoing ecosocial art practice - The Hollywood Forest Story at Currently a Research Fellow for the Burren College of Art, Cathy is currently sharing her ecoliteracy learning with other creative workers through online courses and workshops at the Haumea Ecoversity

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