April 09, 2014
Maori excluded from research challenge
Maori researchers are concerned they are being locked out of the latest $800 million research spend-up.
Associate professor Leonie Pihama from the University of Waikato’s Te Kotahi Research Institute says the end of funding for Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga as a Centre of Research Excellence and the way the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment sets research challenges denies Maori any meaningful input.
She says the ministry positions Maori as mere objects of research, denying their ability to ask questions and seek answers in ways that are appropriate to their needs.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has indicated about $800 million will be distributed for the seven challenges in the second tranche of the National Science Challenges but none is targeted for Maori research, even where Maori will be directly affected.
Dr Pihama says the lack of any direct allocation means Maori researchers must spend their time and energy trying to convince the lead institutions that they must be involved.
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