Welcome to our first e-pānui of 2022! The year started with a bang, with former NPM Co-Director Professor Jacinta Ruru being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Māori and the law. Ngā mihi nui Jacinta!

We were also thrilled to see phenomenal wāhine Melanie Mark-Shadbolt (winner, public policy), Aroha Te Pareake Mead (highly commended, environment), Qiane Matata-Sipu (winner, arts & culture) and Professor Beverley Lawton (winner, innovation, science & health) be recognised for their leadership and impact in the recent Westpac Women of Influence awards.

The NPM secretariat has been back in full swing for some time, with everyone settling back into the rhythm of working from home amidst rising Omicrom cases. To enable smoother planning and reduce risk to staff and our wider NPM whānau, all of our hui and events will be virtual for the foreseeable future - including our flagship biennial International Indigenous Research Conference in November. We will provide rolling updates on IIRC22 throughout the year, including announcements of keynote speakers and panels.

Just before the break we were able to meet virtually with Te Tira Takimano which is NPM’s Electoral College comprising 21 partners from around the motu. TTT is a diverse group of research-focused institutions which includes Independent Research Organisations, museums, polytechnics, Crown Research Institutes and Aotearoa’s sole tribal college, alongside our eight universities. TTT upholds the voice of NPM’s researchers and keeps us connected to our communities, while also ensuring that our Board has the right mix of skills and experience to help us achieve our vision of flourishing Māori futures.

We welcome our newly elected co-chairs Rawiri Tinirau (Te Atawhai o te Ao) and David Tipene-Leach (Eastern Institute of Technology) and look forward to working with them in 2022 and beyond.

Finally, NPM turns 20 this year. Yes, for two decades we have been Aotearoa’s only Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence. So, we will be celebrating our stories of success and joy (because we are joyful to still be here!) with some retrospective features in our e-pānui. 

It is also timely to acknowledge the enduring commitments of the many who have come before us, and their efforts to give voice to collective Māori aspirations for flourishing futures. Many within our network put their hands up and feet forward to protest for Māori rights and recognition when to do so often meant putting themselves and their whānau at risk. Their decades of protest occurred at a time when te reo Māori was actively suppressed and Pākehā largely opposed any measure to recognise and support Māori language, culture, and identity. 

We are proud of the contributions made by many of our NPM whānau over the decades including inaugural Co-Directors Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Michael Walker, ruānuku Ngahuia Te Awekōtuku, and kairangahau Teorongonui Josie Keelan and Morehu McDonald who were among the founding members of Ngā Tamatoa. This year marks 50 years since Ngā Tamatoa and tens of thousands signed and presented the Māori language petition to Parliament, which set in motion the beginning of te reo Māori revitalisation. As we now know, these courageous acts and vision would ultimately benefit all of Aotearoa. And they were done with humility, with mana, and the collective good of the people at the centre. "We changed the world in a good way” - Te Ao Māori News

In coming issues we will continue to reflect on our NPM past, present and future. In the meantime enjoy this 80s anthem from Kool and the Gang.

Kia noho haumaru.

Ngā Pou Matarua | Co-Directors

  • Professor Tahu Kukutai
  • Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora
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