June 26, 2020
Māori knowledge not valued in academia
The co-director of Māori research centre Ngā Pae O Te Māramatanga says despite the rhetoric around supporting mātauranga Māori, the country’s universities and research institutions undervalue Māori knowledge and its practitioners.
Dr Jacinta Ruru is hailing the publication of A Guide to Vision Mātauranga – Lessons from Māori Voices in the New Zealand Science Sector, as a way to make people aware of the barriers Māori scholars face.
The report was prepared by Ngā Pae and representatives from the 11 national science challenges.
She says institutional racism of the sector is implicit in the fact less than 5 percent of the academic workforce is Māori, and the figure drips to less than 2 percent in hard science disciplines like zoology, economy and health sciences.
"And if we’re trying to role model as a country the value of our mātauranga we need to be employing Māori at a fast rate to be part of our sector that shares knowledge, imparts knowledge to our students that are coming through," Professor Ruru says..
She says many Māori academics find themselves doing double duty, having to do their own work as well a provide all the cultural advice and tick the boxes for mātauranga Māori in their institutions.
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