Māori Studies

Below is a list of the papers provided as part of the Māori Studies strand.

MS510 Te Ao Tawhito (15 credits)
Level 5

This course investigates a distinctive Māori world view and highlights the significance of Māori mythology and oral tradition in the development of Mātauranga Māori. This course also examines the impacts of European contact on Māori society and the manifestation of Māori prophetic movements of the nineteenth-century.

MS610 Te Ao Tūroa (15 credits)
Level 6

From the Noble Savage to Cheeky Darkies and Tūhoe Terrorists! 

The paper examines and analyses the impacts of te Tiriti o Waitangi on the social and political development of contemporary Māori society. The paper will investigate the Māori prophetic and protest movements of the twentieth century, as catalysts for radical change in race relations and Māori policy. Students will also examine the influential role of the media in creating and perpetuating common public perceptions of Māori and explore the disempowerment and misrepresentation of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

MS511/611 Te Ao Whakaari (15 credits)
Level 5/6

Hallelujah and Haka Boogie!!

This paper explores and examines the development of contemporary Māori music and dance as a tool for ministry and a mechanism for the expression of faith. The paper introduces students to the theoretical and practical application of Kapa Haka in a church context. Students will explore the history of the early Māori Methodist Singers, Orators and Musicians of 1930 and their contribution to the Methodist Church. Students will also be challenged to consider the place of Haka as a form of Māori expression, in modern-day church and worship. 

MS512/612 Te Ao Hurihuri (Tīkanga Māori) (15 credits)
Pre-requisite: Completion of MS510 and/or MS610
Level 5/6

“Ka haere whakamua me hoki whakamuri” (We must go into the future facing our past)

The paper is aimed at developing cultural competency and understanding of tīkanga Māori to enable respectful and effective interaction. Students will examine Māori spirituality and tīkanga Māori as it is applied to gender, age and leadership-specific roles within both traditional and contemporary contexts. The paper will also encourage the development of skills and knowledge of tikanga Māori in an Aotearoa, Methodist ministry context.

MS620 Te Kete Tuauri (Tohunga) (15 credits)
Pre-requisite: Completion and passing MS610
Level 6

This paper examines the leadership role of Tohunga in traditional Māori society and explores the implications for modern-day forms of Tohungatanga (Tohungaism). This paper will also consider the place of spirituality, ritual and tikanga within the practice of a Tohunga. Students will study the effects of the Tohunga Suppression Act 1907 on healing practices and the retention of mātauranga Māori. The paper investigates the knowledge and work of contemporary practitioners including Tohunga Tā Moko, Whakairo, Rongoa and the potential for Tohunga in digitised media.

MS621 Te Kete Tuatea (Whakapono) (15 credits)
Pre-requisite: Completion and passing MS610
Level 6

Whakapono ki te Atua: Māori faith and religion

This paper is designed to develop student’s knowledge of Māori religion and faith that arose out of colonial oppression and the introduction of Christianity. Students will study the history of Pai Marire, Ratana and Ringatu as exemplars of syncretic movements derived from Māori and Christian teachings and ideologies. The paper will explore the theological and biblical interpretations of selected Māori faiths and examine the charismatic leaders who founded the movements and their contemporary successors. The students will also explore and compare the development of other indigenous and syncretic faiths. The paper will focus on faiths originating from West Africa which developed as a response to slavery and stem from oral traditions and Catholicism.

MS522/622 Te Kete Aronui (Toi Māori) (15 credits)
Level 5/6

Te Whare Pora: Mahi Raranga

This paper will introduce students to traditional and contemporary forms of Māori fibre art. The paper explores the Māori tradition of mahi raranga (weaving), including the spiritual and ceremonial aspects of the craft. The paper familiarises Students with the importance and relevance of ritual and prayer in the practice of harvesting, preparing and weaving flax. The aim of this paper is to give students a comprehensive knowledge of Māori fibre art, customs and beliefs applied to the art form and some practical experience.

MS530/630 Te Reo Kauwhau (15 credits)
Level 5/6

“Ko te kai ā te rangatira he kōrero” (The sustenance of a chief is oratory) 

This is an introduction to oral and written Te Reo Māori. Students will focus on basic grammar and structure of the language, and conversational Māori. The paper aims to develop key competencies in Māori oral literature including karakia, waiata and himene, for application in practical ministry.

MS631 Te Reo Pātikitiki (15 credits)
Pre-requisite: Completion and passing MS530 or MS630
Level 5/6

This paper is intended to develop skills in the structure and grammar of written Te Reo Māori. The paper will incorporate components of tikanga Māori, as well as transcription of oral and written Māori language texts, with a particular focus on biblical texts. Students will study Māori language manuscripts that reveal and exhibit early Māori theological understandings and the practice of the sacraments.

MS532/632 He Kaupapa Hou: Te Haahi Pukamata (15 credits)

Pre-requisite: Completion of MS510 or MS610
Level 5/6


The paper investigates the influence of social media and online mechanisms on ministry and church participation. This paper examines the theological and cultural implications of using social media to inform, communicate and articulate our faith.

REMS650 Research Essay in Māori Studies (30 credits)
Pre-requisite: Completion of MS610
Level 6

This option is for those who have completed the core and required courses for a Māori Studies strand with an average B grade or above. The duration for the project is one full semester. A research proposal has to be approved by the Lecturer in Māori Studies prior conducting the research. The research project is equal to two courses..

We offer programmes that are credible, relevant, accessible, inclusive and transformative.