Introducing Te Ara Pourewa: a new Heritage and Museum Studies course

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Te Ara Pourewa: Graduate Diploma in Heritage and Museum Studies is a new programme developed to increase heritage and museum expertise – particularly Māori – for the protection, preservation and elevation of taonga Māori.

Te Ara Pourewa is the brainchild of Tairāwhiti’s Derek Lardelli and Mike Spedding, who, after canvassing the sector, had confirmation that there was a need for increased capacity of Māori heritage and museum professionals. The programme is being first offered in 2016 and is based at Toihoukura, the school of Māori Visual Arts, at EIT’s Tairāwhiti campus in Gisborne.

Te Ara Pourewa is traditionally an elevated platform. Used in an educational context, the programme allows the learner to progress through stages of higher learning within the heritage and museum sector. It encompasses traditional whakapapa (genealogical) structures that, in turn, capture culturally significant concepts. Graduates will acquire skills to understand and apply concepts/mātauranga Māori to the heritage and museum sector, and gain a broad and practical knowledge of heritage management and museum practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand. This will influence the care, protection and management of tangible and intangible cultural heritage while contributing to the future of indigenous Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Te Ara Pourewa is a Level 7 qualification comprising 120 credits across four courses and is a blended programme with both face-to-face (wānanga and internship) and online components.

Michelle Horwood, Programme Co-ordinator/Lecturer, has received incredible support in the development of the programme from members of the Tairāwhiti community and sector colleagues, both academic and museum and heritage. Working with the awesome team at Toihoukura she is looking forward to the first intake in February 2016.

For further information about the programme, Michelle can be contacted at