November 10, 2015
Royal Society award for Mutu
The Royal Society has given Auckland University Maori studies Professor Margaret Mutu its Pou Aronui Award for distinguished service to the humanities-aronui.
It says she has made a sustained contribution to indigenous rights and scholarship in New Zealand.
Professor Mutu is the chair of the far north Te Runanga-a-iwi o Ngati Kahu.
Her current Marsden Fund project explores Maori claimants’ perspectives and experiences of Treaty of Waitangi settlements.
She has started by reviewing all of the thousands of submissions made to select committees on treaty settlements conducted to date, and will go on to interview claimants and negotiators.
She says it has already revealed a large number of serious problems and difficulties with both the process of settling Treaty of Waitangi claims and the settlements themselves and found that benefits arising from the settlements are being obscured by the difficulties and the divisions that the settlements bring to Maori communities.
"The settlement policy and process has been unilaterally determined by successive governments and imposes settlements and structures that often conflict with and disrupt the fundamental values, laws, culture and social structures of those Maori communities," Professor Mutu says.
She says the Pou Aronui Award highlights the importance for New Zealand of knowing, understanding and acknowledging not only the rightful place of Maori language, culture, tradition and history but also the steps that still need to be taken in order to achieve justice and prosperity for Maori.
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