We asked rangatahi researcher Jordan Green about her research, does having a wahine Māori perspective affect her research?
- Tell us about you and your research?
Tēnā koutou katoa, he uri ahau nō Ngāti Porou me Te Whānau ā Apanui. Ko Jordan tōku ingoa.
I have been lucky enough to be involved in a number of different research kaupapa over the last couple of years, all centred around strengths-based narratives and how we amplify powerful stories of whānau, hapū and iwi to build wide support of tino rangatiratanga and Māori leadership.
This journey started for me with my master’s research where I got to spend time sharing stories about Māori Instagram and how rangatahi, namely wāhine Māori, were using digital tools and social media to engage in transformation work and build connection and community. Through this research, I became even more interested in the power of mana-affirming storytelling grounded in mātauranga Māori.
This work led me to The Workshop where I was able to work alongside our collaborators on kaupapa like COVID-19 vaccination communications for whānau, messages that build support for tino rangatiratanga in environmental governance, and ways to talk about the changes that will make the biggest difference for people and te taiao (aka systems change).
And now my research journey continues with Community Research in a contracting role, bringing my experience as a community researcher to help manaaki our community and organise our exciting gathering of 2023!
- Tell us about honouring Te Tiriti in your research?
Kaupapa Māori Research principles have been a foundation for my own research. Honouring Te Tiriti is a part of this and, in my experience, starts with relationships and a genuine intention to honour and support Māori-led aspirations.
In terms of communications, honouring Te Tiriti means reminding Crown agencies of their Te Tiriti obligations within their communications and beyond. Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi includes ensuring people, especially whānau Māori, have access to good information that is free from misinformation, that is accessible, relevant, and that is led by Māori communities. As Tina Ngata recently wrote, and is forever reminding us, this also means genuinely doing what you say you will as a Treaty partner! Research, for me, has been a way to hold kāwanatanga agencies to account in my own work.
- There’s a time to sit around and theorise and a time to do. How does that look to you?
I’m always reminded by Kaupapa Māori Research teachings that research needs to be useful to our people, communities, and kaupapa. There needs to be careful planning involved, of course, but there is also a need for research to be timely and applicable – this has been especially true during COVID times. I’ve been lucky to be mentored by Māori and Indigenous designers, like TātouTātou, that have taught me how we can turn research into really practical tools to guide communications and advocacy.
- What would be important for you as a wahine Māori researcher to see as an outcome?
I’m going to embrace my last years of rangatahi-ness and dream big – as wahine Māori I want our mokopuna to live in a world where they can be kaitiaki of their whenua, they can speak their reo, they are grounded in our mātauranga, their whānau and whakapapa links are strong, and they can continue to collectively make decisions about our people, land and waters.
I think communications and narratives play a part in this future. What we hear and come to believe influences our actions and ultimately, our human-designed systems. In shifting and replacing unhelpful and harmful narratives that underpin the big ‘isms’ like colonisation, racism, ableism, sexism, homophobia, etc. we will shift the assumptions and bias that hold systems of inequality in place. Research provides powerful stories that absolutely have a place in shaping this future.
- We have spoken about the Symposium. What is the most important future focus from your perspective?
Other awesome wāhine have spoken about whanaungatanga and connection – which I think we all need right now – so I’m going to talk about the real opportunity I see in getting together to wānanga about what research is and means.
After some great kōrero with TātouTātou, I’m interested in how we open up (dedicate) space for those who might not consider themselves researchers. Maybe those doing whakapapa research or looking into their whānau stories, or those working in big agencies designing services with whānau – I want them to be able to see themselves as researchers and to be supported in their research.
Ngā mihi Jordan, it has been such a pleasure to get to know you and we wish you well in your amazing mahi in the future.
Jordan is one of our researchers that met with us in our engagement phase for our Knowledge Symposium engagement. Since then she has taken on a supporting role with Community Research in 2023 helping with our engagement event, the launch of the Special Collection Housing, and the Critical Treaty Analysis Collection and the corresponding webinars.
Please link to Jordan’s work below.
Green, J. (2021). Māori Instagram: The Social Media Lifeworlds and Decolonising Practices of Rangatahi Māori (Thesis, Master of Arts). https://ourarchive.otago.ac.nz/handle/10523/12479