July 12, 2020
Maori missing in science project top spots
A Māori academic is concerned too many mātauranga Maori projects are being led by Pākehā.
Five of the 15 Seed projects in this year's $3 million funding round from the Science for Technological Innovation national science challenge come under the Vision Mātauranga criteria aimed at bringing western science and mātauranga Māori together.
But Dan Hikuroa, a University of Auckland Māori studies lecturer who has studied how mātauranga and western science can be brought together, says none of them are led by Māori.
He says it points to flaws in the system that may be driving Māori away.
"The system itself needs a serious looking at. These are sometimes the outcomes we get. It's not just there aren't enough Māori because there are some out there. They just didn't happen to be interested in this particular round, so that's maybe a question we need to be asking: If there are Māori with the capacity and the capability and the desire to be involved in this space, why weren't they putting their hands up?" he says.
Dr Hikuroa says it's clear the research funding system still prioritises western knowledge over mātauranga Māori and denies Māori a place at the decision-making table.
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