Professor Bob Jahnke presents his conceptualisation
of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Academy launch.
Academy of Mäori research launched
Coinciding with the dawn of Matariki, the Mäori
New Year, the launch of New Zealand’s first academy of Mäori
research and scholarship signifies a major advance-ment of Mäori
The Academy, Te Mata o te Tau, was launched on 11 June by Professor Tai
Black who recited a karakia in keeping with Matariki festivities. He explained
the significance of Te Mata o te Tau for both the University and Te Pütahi
a Toi, the School of Mäori Studies, as “the first sign for
the Mäori New Year and a symbol of high attainment”.
The Academy will bring together the University’s senior Mäori
scholars and provide a forum for interdisciplinary research and academic
debate. Assistant Vice-Chancellor – Mäori, Professor Mason
Durie, emphasised the importance of consolidating Mäori scholarship,
describing the Academy as a vehicle for fostering new knowledge, high
levels of academic achievement and a platform for research that draws
on different bodies of knowledge. The Academy’s innovative approach
to research would bring a new dynamic to the greater realm of Mäori
academia, he said.
In her presentation at the launch, Vice-Chancellor Professor Judith Kinnear
described the Academy as an important milestone, set to make a major contribution
to Mäori and to Mäori scholarship.
“ It recognises that although Mäori academics come from different
subject areas, and different sections of the University, their combined
efforts have great potential for developing new approaches to further
Supported by a board of Academy fellows and senior research staff, Te
Mata o te Tau will forge the path for interdisciplinary research collaboration.
The University’s strength of Mäori academia includes:
— Te Ropu Whariki, a Mäori research group working in partnership
with Massey’s SHORE Centre in Auckland, led by Helen Moewaka Barnes
— Te Pumanawa Hauora at the Wellington campus (a research programme
in Mäori health), directed by Associate Professor Chris Cunningham
— Te Aho Tatai-Rangi - a three-year degree for future Kura Kaupapa
Mäori educators, designed for competent speakers of Te Reo Mäori
and situated in Palmerston North
— The Centre for Public Health research (represented at all three
campuses) which operates in collaboration with Te Pumanawa Hauora
— The School of Mäori Studies’ Bachelor course in Mäori
Visual Arts and the Diploma in Mäori Resource Development.