A comprehensive programme examining how large systems like health, education, and social services can be changed to offer equitable outcomes is being offered by Te Kura i Awarua, Rangahau Māori Research Centre at EIT | Te Pūkenga.
The Systems Thinking, Mātauranga Māori, System Change training course, which is being run in partnership with the Australasian analytics group, Synergia, will combine face-to-face sessions with on-line tutorials over a 5-month period from May to September.
Te Kura i Awarua, Rangahau Māori Research Centre Principal Investigator Professor David Tipene-Leach says New Zealand health, education, and some social service systems are presently under review, and are the focus of major change initiatives, in part, because they have not been able to deliver equitable outcomes.
“They are complex systems with a morass of extremely difficult-to-solve or ‘wicked problems’. All these complex problems involve Māori as either patients, whānau, or communities. Systems thinking helps us unravel ‘wicked problems’ and mātauranga Māori locates solutions within our Aotearoa context.”
Synergia’s systems analyst Dr David Rees says “As we tackle the challenges of the 21st century, we know that simple methods and simple solutions are no longer adequate. We need ways of thinking that help us develop a common understanding of the complexities we face. We need tools that help us find ways through this complexity. Indigenous thinking has tools that can complement those that have emerged from a Western perspective.”
“We need to acknowledge, respect, and explore mātauranga Māori and the potential it has to grapple with these issues and help us create robust solutions,” says Prof Tipene-Leach.
“Bringing together different, but complementary, bodies of knowledge places value on each and what they offer.”
Prof Tipene-Leach says the course aims to give a voice to both systems thinking and mātauranga Māori and show that while each, on their own, has much to offer New Zealand in 2023, combined, “they offer more powerful ideas, methods, and tools to help us move forward together”.
“We designed the programme for people actively working in communities and public sector organisations, as service providers, consultants, advocates, and researchers. The course requires no prior knowledge, only an interest in working collaboratively, to combine knowledge from both the system sciences and mātauranga Māori.”
The programme will be held at Mitre 10 Park Hawke’s Bay – Ahuriri Room in the Aquatic Centre, 42 Percival Road, Hastings, starting today (Wednesday 24 May).