Mauri Tangata ki te whai Ao ki te Ao mārama i Heretaunga me Tamatea

Te Toi Ōhanga Limited partnered with Te Manaaki Taiao, Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga to grow the capabilities, capacity and networks of partnering marae and hapū from across Heretaunga. Their project, supported by Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund (VMCF), focuses on a community-based approach to wellbeing and cultural survival accounting called Māori Genuine Progress Indicator (mGPI) accounting.

He mihi ki te Arawhata ki a Ihowa

Ko te Amorangi ki mua ko te hāpai o ki muri te tuturu mahi pono o te māori mana motuhake

Te Wairātahi mauri ora ki te Rangi – Heretaunga hauku nui, ararau, haaro te kaahu

Te Wairātahi mauri or ki te Whenua – Heretaunga takotoa, Ringahora

Kō wai te waka e takoto nei Ko Takitimu! Ko Takitimu!

Kō wai te Iwi? Ko  Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga e!

Haramai te toki haumi e, hui e, tāi iki e!

Hei whakakuitītanga hei whakakītenga

E mihi kau ana ki te hunga e noho pūāhuru mai nā i waenganui i ō rātau whānau,

Me mihi anō hoki ki te hunga kua māwehe atu ki te pō,

Nā rātau i waiho mai ēnei taonga ki a tātau hei whāngai ki ngā reanga kei te heke,

Nō reira, mokori anō te tangi ki ō tātau tīpuna kua wehe atu i tēnei ao, ā, ka mihi ki te mātauranga me ngā taonga i waiho mai e rātau,

Nō reira, haere, haere, haere atu rā.

Mauri ora e!

Let God be the spearhead, let achievement follow, that is truly māoridom in action

Heretaunga is our sustenance, of life giving precipitations, of arcadian pathways, seen through the eyes of the guardian hawk

Takitimu is our waka, we are Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga!      

Acknowledgements to all appreciating life in the warmness and welfare of our families,

We must also acknowledge those who have gone on before us,

We have preserved the treasures that have been handed for all of us including the generations to come,

And so, our thoughts are to our ancestors who have departed this world and pay tribute to the knowledge and gifts they have left,

Therefore farewell, farewell, go forth.

To us the humble servants that remain

What is the project?

mGPI accounting includes both qualitative and quantitative measures of the progress of Māori communities. It takes into account western societal measures, includes indicators of Māori community wellbeing and cultural survival, and quite radically reframes existing accounting practice in a way that builds on a distinctly Māori community experience of knowing.

(In a Māori community, knowing involves more than just an intellect. mGPI accounting integrates mātau (intellectual knowing) along with mōhio (experiential knowing), mārama (insight/clarity of knowing), wairua (spiritual/sacred knowing), matatau (depth of knowing) and whakapapa (relational knowing)).

The project’s aim is to socialise mGPI accounting across partnering marae in Heretaunga.

Through the project, three intakes of tauira (students) participated in 93 training and skill-development workshops over the past two years. Monthly wānanga were held, supported by a three-stage learning process:

  • tauira engage in online learning activities
  • once a month, tauira come together in wānanga to contribute towards collective learning
  • following each monthly wānanga, tauira were encouraged to share what they have learnt with their respective whānau, marae or hapū.

The mGPI accounting wānanga were supported by online learning resources that provide a detailed approach to the study of three topics:

  • pūkengatanga – the role of Māori communities in creating knowing
  • ahikā – reclaiming, reframing and reinstating the Māori cultural economy
  • tātari tauutuutu – an introduction to mGPI accounting.

The creation of online learning resources to support this project involved the custom development of 77 video learning resources (totalling around 324 hours of teaching content), 700 pages of learning content, 55 PowerPoint presentations and 3,944 illustrations. All of this is available on the mGPI accounting web-app.

To provide examples of how mGPI accounting can be applied in a local context, tauira were invited to participate in applying mGPI accounting tools as part of the resource management creative activities of Te Manaaki Taiao. This led to support from Hastings District Council for adopting and using the mGPI accounting web-app in resource management creative activities.

(The term “creative activities” is used as a more culturally inclusive alternative for the word research that better embraces the wonderfully creative ways in which Māori communities contribute to the creation of knowing).

The Māori Genuine Progress Indicator (mGPI) team

Why is it important to the community?

This project has benefited from two separate VMCF investments. The focus of the first project was to socialise mGPI accounting. When tauira graduate from the first socialisation stage as pūkenga they can then learn to build mGPI accounts in a second VMCF funded creative activity project. The end goal of this capability building is for tauira to be able to help their community lead their own mGPI accounting creative activities.

In a grassroots community project of this kind it can be difficult to know exactly how creative activities will translate into tangible future benefits. However, mGPI accounting is already showing promising signs of delivering tangible benefits through its use in resource management creative activities.

While this project was intended to socialise mGPI accounting amongst tauira from participating marae, it has contributed to a much wider outcome involving uptake and use of new vocabulary, ideas, conversations and processes from many other groups. The socialisation journey has enhanced understanding of the role Māori communities play in creating knowing that supports wellbeing and cultural survival aspirations. It has also extended understanding of differing socialisation pathways and the role of measurement in tracking progress towards cultural survival and mana motuhake.

For mGPI accounting to lead and support a socially cohesive expression of mana motuhake, a kaupapa Māori approach was employed to create and nurture learning experiences based on belonging, participation, inclusion, recognition and legitimacy.

How has Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund helped?

“Mā tō rourou, mā taku rourou, ka ora te iwi, with your food basket and my basket, the people will thrive. The importance to prepare the ground, enabled by free access to participate, has created trust and confidence to facilitate cooperation for mutual benefit” – Marei Apatu, Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

“We know getting funding in New Zealand for long-term creative activities is difficult. The Vision Mātauranga Capability fund can facilitate project activities that are self-contained within a short-time horizon – such as two years or less – but can also support component parts of a much longer creative activity journey. Our experience shows that funding for longer projects is possible with careful planning and project execution.” – Anthony Cole, Te Toi Ōhanga Limited

What’s next?

The team have been continuing to improve socialisation wānanga as a preparatory step towards applying mGPI accounting in a whānau marae/hapū context. With this learning pathway mostly completed, the team can now shift their attention to the next project in which their mGPI accounting pūkenga will learn how to build mGPI accounts and identify indicators customised to the needs of participating communities.