April 28, 2021
Maori science input needed in policy making
Māori academics are calling for Māori chief science advisors to be appointed in key government agencies as a step towards a more tiriti-driven policy approach.
A new report, Te Pūtahitanga: A Tiriti-led science-policy approach for Aotearoa New Zealand, says the exclusion of Māori and Pacific expertise from science advice and key decision-making roles was especially apparent during the pandemic.
It says a bolder science-policy approach that leverages the unique strengths of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Mātauranga Māori would achieve better outcomes for Māori.
Professor Tahu Kukutai from Waikato University's National Institute for Demographics and Economic says a change would be in line with other recent changes in the public sector, including the Public Service Act which requires the public service to support the crown in its treaty relationship with Māori, and the Education Act which also moves Te Tiriti o Waitangi towards the centre.
What this report argues is we really need to do that in the science policy space as well, so we have a system that is much more responsive, that is much more inclusive, that's much more aligned with Māori needs and priorities, that draws communities into the conversations, that really leverages in more meaningful ways the local intelligence, the resources and expertise they have because it doesn't all emanate in Wellington," she says.
Professor Kukutai says the report brings together the thoughts of Māori researchers, scientists and policy experts who have spent decades trying to get their voices heard within the current system.
Copyright © 2021, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com