Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Visiting Scholar Presentation by Paul Whitinui

The Aboriginal Teacher Education Program Office is pleased to invite you to attend a seminar by Dr. Paul Whitinui

Leading Indigenous MINDS:  Relaunching our Indigeneity Today-Tomorrow in a Period of Neoliberalism, Crisis and Austerity 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
2:00—3:00 pm
Education Library Teaching Corner
Duncan McArthur Hall

Paul WhitinuiDr. Paul Whitinui (EdD, MLS(Hons), BEd, BLS, Dip.Tchg) belongs to the Ngā Puhi Confederation of Tribes with connections to Ngāti Uru and Ngāti Kurī in the Far North of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Dr. Whitinui is currently an Associate Professor of Māori Teacher Education in the College of Education (Te Kura Akua Taitoka) at the University of Otago in Dunedin, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Within his role he provides professional and strategic leadership in the development of the Māori teacher education programme within the initial teacher education programme. He also currently teaches at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels in the area of Māori Studies. Dr. Whitinui's research interests include investigating Māori and Indigenous peoples’ education, schooling, health, and wellbeing. He is the author of the book The Indigenous Factor: Exploring Kapa Haka as a Culturally Responsive Learning Environment in Mainstream Secondary Schools (2008) which was the basis of doctoral dissertation and was the lead editor  for two other books, Kia Tangi te Tītī- Permission to Speak: Successful Schooling for Māori Students in the 21st Century- Issues, Challenges and Alternatives (2011) and  Ara Mai he Tētēkura - Visioning our Futures: New and Emerging Pathways of Māori Academic Leadership. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Whitinui was a classroom teacher for 11 years. Most notably as a Physical Education and Health teacher as well as Dean of Māori and Pacific Island students based at Hamilton Boys’ High from 1997-2001. In 2001, he became a RTLB (Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour) until 2007. Working as a RTLB widened Dr. Whitinui’s understanding about some of the deeper issues and concerns facing Indigenous students and their learning. 

At this year’s Migration and Late Capitalism Conference held at the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith keynote shared the pervasive nature of neoliberalism across various jurisdictions that are leading to a new wave of displacement and exile of Indigenous Peoples (Smith, L., 2015). New forms of colonisation, the on-going cultural devastation of Indigenous Peoples ways of life, the redistribution of wealth, fiscal constraints and social inequalities are significantly impacting on Indigenous Peoples, and our way of life in the 21st century. Moody (2013) argued that we live in a ‘paradox of abundance whilst in the midst of need’ (p.3) and that this remains a pressing issue in the context of how we as Indigenous Peoples want to lead ourselves, and what we must do to attain all that we need to survive, as well as thrive as Indigenous Peoples (Smith, G., 2014).  This talk will identify some of the key socio-political tensions that exist, and discuss how Indigenous peoples can, and are gaining power over ourselves, our MINDS, and our destiny. Indigeneity asks a very simple question of ourselves, how do we maintain and promote Indigeneity in the 21st century, and how will be know when we have achieved Indigeneity today-tomorrow?


Moody, H. R. (2013). Abundance of Life: Human Development Policies for an Aging Society: Columbia University Press.

Smith, G. H. (2014).  E hare ana tē pōporoihewa, e noho an te kiore.  In S. Katene, & T. Ward’s, Tihei Mauriora flipchart.  MANU AO -Massey University: Palmerston North, p. 64.

Smith, L. T. (2015, June).  Disappeared, banished, murdered & displaced: climate change or neoliberal capitalism? What is happening to indigenous communities in the 21st century?  Keynote presentation for Migration & Late Capitalism: Critical Intersections with the Asia-Pacific and Beyond Conference, June 11-13, 2015. University of Victoria: Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC.

Book cover "The Indigenous Factor"

Book cover "Permission to Speak"

Book cover "Visioning our Futures"