Pōwhiri: Strengthening a Sense of Bicultural Belonging and Identity for Refugee Families

Professional development (PD) Auckland, Waikato

Posted: 13 January 2020
Notice reference #: 1HA4Wr

ELP Lecture Series - March Lecture, 7–9pm

Presented by: Dr Lesley Rameka 

This presentation explores how pōwhiri, the traditional Māori ceremony of welcome, can provide a framing to support refugee children and families develop a sense of bicultural belonging and identity in Aotearoa, New Zealand while maintaining a sense of belonging and identity to their home homelands. Each step of the powhiri process is key to developing theoretical understandings and will be articulated in terms of guiding early childhood kaiako practice and pedagogies. The framing is also useful for informing ECE teacher pedagogical practice when working with all children.

This presentation is part of a three year, Marsden funded research project, led by Professor Linda Mitchell, from Waikato University, aimed at developing a theoretical model, and strategies, that can contribute to policy and practice in early childhood education to support refugee families and children to construct a sense of belonging in NZ.

Lesley is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Waikato. Lesley has worked in early childhood education for over 30 years, beginning her journey in te kohanga reo, and working in a number of professional development and tertiary education providers over the years. Lesley’s research interests include; Māori early childhood education, Kaupapa Māori Assessment in early childhood, Curriculum development in Māori early childhood services, Māori pedagogies, Māori and Pacific perspectives of Infants and Toddlers care and education, and Māori immersion educational transitions. Lesley is currently part of a project that is examining bicultural belonging for refugee children and families in ECE.

Events summary


10 March 2020 – 10 March 2020


11 March 2020 – 11 March 2020

Further information

Contact: Claire Chapman

 (07) 856 8708