Privileging whānau voices, whakapapa narratives towards whānau ora

Year Project Commenced : 2020
Year Project Completed: 2021


Dr Jason Paul Mika

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of Whakarewarewa Village Tours. The hapū of Whakarewarewa resolved to re-open the village in December 2020 however, the decimated context of the tourism industry, change of attention to a domestic market and the apprehension of the whānau to the opening of the village to tourists requires a thorough investigation and reconsideration of what is on offer for tourists in the village. The principal goal of this research project therefore is to understand the principles and processes the hapū of Whakarewarewa Village might use to redefine what tourism could look like at this iconic destination post-COVID-19. This research will examine two key aspects of hapū responses to COVID-19 related to tourism development: (1) mātauranga-ā-hapū resilience as a source of innovation and adaptation that balances economic and community well-being and upholds the mana and rangatiratanga of the hapū and (2) an investigation of a digital approach that supplements kanohi-ki-te kanohi visitor experiences. The research will examine mātauranga-ā-hapū associated with resilience and recovery from the 1886 Tarawera eruption, as an example of indigenous methodologies of resilience to crises. To examine mātauranga-ā-hapū resilience, the research will start by drawing on mātauranga-ā-whānau through kōrero tuku-iho narratives in wānanga. 


Lead Researcher: Dr Keri-Anne Wikitera, Tuhourangi-Ngāti Wahiao

Is a senior lecturer and researcher in the school of Hospitality and Tourism at AUT University and a researcher in the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute. Her academic interests include indigenous history and knowledge systems, tourism and intercultural exchange with particular regard to Māori tourism development.

Nari Faiers,Te Arawa and Ngāpuhi

Nari is a doctoral candidate at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. Nari’s research focus is on indigenous frameworks of resilience built from crises.

Dr Jason Paul Mika, Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Whakatōhea, and Ngāti Kahungunu

Jason is a senior lecturer at Massey University’s School of Management and a director of Te Au Rangahau, Massey Business School’s Māori business research centre. Jason’s research, policy and practice focuses on understanding how indigeneity and entrepreneurship intersect in multiple sectors, scales and sites.