Linda Waimarie Nikora is co-director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and a Professor of Indigenous Studies at Te Wānanga o Waipapa, the University of Auckland. She was previously Professor of Psychology and Director of the Maori & Psychology Research Unit at the University of Waikato. Her specialities are in in community psychology, applied social psychology, ethnopsychology and Maori development.
Professor Nikora has a celebrated research and academic career, working in community, social and indigenous psychologies, with a specific focus on Māori wellbeing and self-determination. Her research in recent years has focused on Tangi: Māori ways of mourning; traditional body modification; ethnic status as a stressor; Māori identity development; cultural safety and competence; Māori mental health and recovery; social and economic determinants of health; homelessness; relational health; and social connectedness.
We are now 30+ years on from when our children first had the opportunity to attend Kōhanga. They are a part of a fortunate generation, like those who will follow them. And so too are those that are following. But what of those older Māori, their parents and grandparents, some of who do speak te reo but many who do not? What challenges to tikanga, age related roles and relationships do these demographics present? Status, mana, roles, responsibilities, ritual duties and leadership are all age related concepts that, in the Māori world, assume a foundation of learning that leads to experience, competence and accumulated wisdom over time.
Tangi is the ultimate form of Māori cultural and community expression. Addressing the dearth of scholarly information, this study considers tangi practice, whakapapa, changing environments, community values, sharing knowledge, ritual and what it means to be Māori.