July 06, 2021
Research dilution claim angers Maori academics
Māori academics are upset by criticism of changes to research funding to give more weight to Māori and Pasifika research.
Universities New Zealand chief executive Chris Whelan told RNZ National that rather than diluting the $350 million a year Performance-Based Research Fund, Maori and Pasifika researchers need a dedicated fund for their own use.
Meihana Durie from Te Kahui Amokura, which includes the eight deputy vice-chancellors Māori across the eight universities, says it's extraordinary to hear such comments after the universities have supposedly been looking at their obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
He says the proposed changes come from a review led by Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith.
"The elevation of funding for Māori research has now been put forward as a recommendation and the view that Māori research dilutes the overall quality of research in New Zealand universities, for us, there is a significant issue with that," he says.
Professor Durie says with Māori researchers are making critical contributions across a range of fields through their unique emphasis on kaupapa Māori, tikanga Māori, te reo and mātauranga as the bedrock of research.
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