Kaupapa Māori, the fundamental values of living – the life force of humanity and economy

Associate Professor Mānuka Hēnare, Director, Mira Szászy Research Centre, Faculty of Business and Economics.

The challenges of collaborative learning through Kaupapa Māori, Tikanga Māori and Ahuatanga Māori philosophy and methodology, appropriate to growth of Kāinga (firms and businesses), and Whai Rawa (the flourishing Economy of Mana) are considerable. According to Māori tradition, wānanga (places of learning) must be innovative in their content and philosophy, and infused with collaborative learning and research. Kaupapa Māori includes by its nature deep, fundamental imperatives of learning for change.

Tikanga and Ahuatanga are the virtues, ethics and behavioural norms of humanity’s belief, wisdom and knowledge systems. Kaupapa Māori in business and economics captures Paulo Freire’s idea of adult education as a process of building conscience and social justice whereby learners and teachers become critically aware of a sustainable economic world, climate change and the need for change. Finally, Kaupapa Māori learning and teaching in commerce is akin to the Socratic method of questions and answers where the aim is to build upon the existing knowledge and experiences of the learner.