The last month has been an exciting period of renewal for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga with the addition of two wonderful wāhine to our team.

Dr Kiri Edge has been appointed to the newly created role of Pouhere Rangahau (Research Leader), and Professor Melinda Webber is the incoming Chair of our Komiti Rangahau (Research Committee). Melinda takes over from Professor Huia Jahnke who served 6 years as Chair. We feel very fortunate to have Melinda and Kiri join NPM - you can read more about them later in this e-pānui.

Key members of our NPM senior leadership team have been busy, working with Māori scientists and researchers from across the RSI system to produce a collective submission to Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Green Paper. Te Ara Paerangi is a multi-year programme focused on the future of Aotearoa’s research system and has been described as the country’s biggest RSI reform in 30 years. The submission outlines the potential for a reformed Tiriti-based RSI system to drive better outcomes for both Te Ao Māori and for Aotearoa. It makes a number of important recommendations including:

  • A co-governed national taskforce to direct the RSI reform agenda;
  • co-governance of key entities within the RSI sector including MBIE Science Board;

  • ringfenced funding for an independent Māori RSI entity and appointment of a transitional national Māori body to oversee its establishment;

  • Tiriti criteria for RSI funding and Tiriti outcomes for all publicly-funded RSI;

  • place-based RSI hubs to identify Māori RSI priorities within each rohe, connect research to local decision-making, champion mātauranga-driven innovation, and protect Māori intellectual and cultural property

The submission builds on previous work supported by NPM including Te Pūtahitanga report on a Tiriti-led science-policy approach and A Guide to Vision Mātauranga. A separate submission on the Green Paper was also made by Rauika Māngai, representing Māori leaders across the 11 National Science Challenges. 

The excellence and impact of Māori researchers gained further recognition this month with the appointment of four Māori scholars as Ahurei (Fellows) to the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Our congratulations to NPM Board member Amokura Kawharu, NPM-funded researchers Professor Angela Wanhalla and AProf Sonja Macfarlane, and NPM Pou Matarua Professor Tahu Kukutai. 

We also congratulate Dr Sarah-Jane Paine who was recently announced as the new Research Director of Growing up in New Zealand, Aotearoa’s largest longitudinal study of child development and wellbeing. The study has been following the lives of more than 6,000 tamariki over the past 12 years, with nearly half of the cohort identifying as Māori and/or Pacific. Sarah-Jane brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to her new role, having previously worked at Eru Pōmare Māori Health Research Centre and Te Kupenga Hauora Māori. 

Finally, our NPM secretariat continues to work virtually as Omicrom impacts our whānau, communities, and workplaces. We were proud to support our colleagues from Te Roopu Whakakaupapa Urutā and the WERO Hauora Immunisation Alliance to host a series of bespoke Omicrom webinars for whānau, marae/iwi/hapū, kura and Māori providers. The sessions provided information and practical advice from Māori medical practitioners and community leaders who were able to share their experiences from a Māori perspective.

We are always grateful for the commitment, care, and expertise that they have so generously shared with us all throughout the pandemic.

Ngā Pou Matarua | Co-Directors

• Professor Tahu Kukutai

• Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora

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