This article has been inspired by “Why Isn’t My Professor Māori?” (McAllister et al., 2019), an article which appeared in this journal and addressed the under-representation of, and inequities facing, Māori academic staff in universities in Aotearoa New Zealand. I present some personal reflections and raise some questions with regard to academics with Māori heritage but who struggle to identify as Māori.
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns in Aotearoa New Zealand have been a source of change, of uncertainty and of anxiety. The ways in which we engage with each other as Indigenous people have had to change drastically and suddenly; our ways of being, of sharing space, of being present, have all had to be adjusted. For Indigenous postgraduate students, COVID-19 and lockdowns have meant a re-shaping and re-thinking of how we come together as a community that supports each other within Westernised institutions and along our academic and research journeys.
Food availability refers to the adequacy of the supply of healthy food. It is a key concern for the wellbeing of tamariki Māori today. A narrative literature review methodology was applied to examine the literature and identify influences that enable the availability of healthy food for tamariki. Findings were synthesised and analysed using the Oranga Mokopuna framework—a rights-based approach grounded in tikanga Māori.
Māori and Pacific academics make up less than 4% and 1% respectively of New Zealand professors. We investigated ethnic inequities in promotions and earnings in New Zealand universities. Using New Zealand’s Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) data (2003, 2012, 2018) we found that Māori and Pacific men and also women academics, compared with non-Māori non-Pacific men academics, had significantly lower odds of being an associate professor or professor (professoriate) or of being promoted, and had lower earnings.
This commentary explores the ways in which body sovereignty has been illustrated and supported in the sovereign space of Te Matatini (Ki Te Ao). It is suggested that the 2019 Te Matatini Ki Te Ao Kapa Haka Finals were a space that privileged Te Ao Māori and body sovereignty in multiple, intersecting ways. I propose that sovereign spaces such as Te Matatini provide an alternative illustration, discourse and narrative to current coloniality that restricts, limits and does not acknowledge body sovereignty.
In 2018, we curated the Te Takarangi Book List: a collection of 150 Māori-authored non-fiction books. The list profiles some of the important Māori leaders, thinkers and authors of our time. From the first book published about the Māori language in 1815 to the works of current Māori scholars, researchers and writers making their mark and claiming a voice in the research environment of Aotearoa New Zealand, this is a sample list to celebrate.
The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) has gained increasing attention as a tool for promoting Indigenous rights. The study reported in this article contributes to the discussion about the Declaration’s effectiveness by analysing its role in advancing Indigenous peoples’ self-determination. A qualitative case study was conducted between January and February 2018 with 18 Māori activists in Aotearoa New Zealand, using a rights-based and Indigenous-based approach to form the analytical framework.
He Vaka Moana is a strengths-based project framed by oceanic principles and methodologies that connect us as Māori and Pasifika to the ocean. The underpinning kaupapa and theoretical framework of He Vaka Moana is the Tongan proverb “pikipiki hama kae vaevae manava”, which refers to our individual vaka coming together to support each other as we navigate the moana.
This article provides insights into the ethnicity of academics employed by Aotearoa New Zealand’s eight universities, with a particular focus on Māori academics. We show that, despite values espoused by universities in terms of diversity and within their equity policies regarding Māori staff, there has been no progress in increasing the Māori academic workforce. Māori academics were severely under-represented at universities between 2012 and 2017, comprising approximately 5% of the total academic workforce.
Māui is remembered in Māori narrative as a change maker, a challenger of boundaries and a trickster. However, in the 21st century these characteristics are likely to be frowned upon rather than celebrated in Aotearoa New Zealand’s education system. Māori students experiencing complex needs, like Māui, are known for pushing the boundaries. Rather than signalling strength of character, these characteristics are frequently viewed as deficits.