Marae Ora, Kāinga Ora (MOKO): Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) Marae-led responses to COVID

Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan - IIRC
Thursday, November 19, 2020

This presentation is based on the first phase of the three-year Marae Ora, Kāinga Ora (MOKO) research project, funded by Endeavour Fund, MBIE, and led by Prof Jenny Lee-Morgan (Science Lead).  The aim of the MOKO research is to investigate the potential of five marae to strengthen their provision of kāinga in the contemporary urban context of South Auckland. Marae are highly valued by Māori communities as being critical to cultural sustainability (Kawharu 2014, Tapsell 2014) and more recently recognised by government agencies as important community providers (Te Puni Kokiri 2018).  However, there is a dearth of research about how contemporary urban marae operate, and how they work with, and for communities. MOKO provides the opportunity for marae and communities to collectively share, reflect and analyse the ways in which marae work towards intergenerational sustainability of marae ora and kāinga ora.  The research involves five marae: Papatūānuku Marae; Papakura Marae; Manurewa Marae, Mataatua Marae and Makaurau Marae - within the super-diversity of communities in South Auckland that are Māori and Pasifika population rich (Auckland Council, 2018).

As feature of the kaupapa Māori approach to the MOKO project, is the inclusion of Marae-based researchers, self-named ‘Ngā Puna ō ngā Marae’(NPNM).  Also aligned to a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach (Lee, Jong, Kim & Phillips, 2015), the wider MOKO research team highly values the contribution of NPNM, as we undertake research by, for and with marae and communities to contribute to strategic and collective development of kāinga ora for whānau and community. This research is driven by Māori priorities and needs, is consistent with tikanga Māori, in an effort to generate mātauranga highly valued and used by marae, communities, service providers, council and government agencies, across education, health and social service sectors. 

The MOKO project has enabled the research team, to analyse their respective and collective responses and mobilisation of marae to the Covid lockdown periods. This presentation fits under the theme ‘Covid 19 – Indigenous-led solutions during a global pandemic’ and shares the initial findings of each marae, by each marae through NPNM researchers of four of the marae.  The analysis will include creative pikitia (poster) that depicts some of the key messages and stories that each marae seek to tell. The focus on the Covid response in this study has also been jointly funded through the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges Kia manawaroa – Ngā Āikna o Te Ao Tūroa, National Science Challenge.