Hōngonoi | July 2021

Matariki - marking the beginning of the Māori New Year - is an opportunity to pause and reflect: to take stock of the year that has been, to remember those that have passed, and to look ahead. 

For Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM), the past year has been one of upheaval and change as we have all had to come to terms with living and working in a global pandemic.

We have lost much-loved colleagues including Associate Professor Manuka Henare, Dr Paora Mato, and Kaumātua David Rawiri Wharemate.

We have also celebrated successes with seven years of additional funding from the Tertiary Education Commission, the election of NPM founding Pou Matarua Co-Director Linda Tuhiwai Smith to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, twelve of our NPM colleagues became Fellows of the Royal Society, Te Apaarangi, and the publication of the landmark book Ngā Kete Mātauranga: Māori scholars at the research interface.   

On the cusp of Matariki, NPM gathered for our Te Tira Takimano Hui-ā-tau (TTT). TTT is NPM’s electoral college that represents our 21 research partners. They include wānanga, Crown Research Institutes, Independent Research Organisations, museums, a tribal college and our eight universities.

Partners, research leaders, Te Kupenga o MAI Co-ordinators and Pacific colleagues were warmly welcomed by mana whenua and our NPM Chair Kerensa Johnson.

The hui was an opportunity for the NPM leadership to articulate the strategic direction and work plan for 2021-2024. Soon we will be launching 5 new research programmes focused on Work, Racism and Equity, Environmental Relationship and Social Wellbeing.

They reflect the persistent challenges of our time and we know that through Māori-led research and the strength of our network NPM can bring impactful and tangible Indigenous solutions to our communities and whānau. 

We were honoured to have Professor Robert Greenberg, Dean-Faculty of Arts, Waipapa Taumata Rau – The University of Auckland, attend and speak at the conference along with Dr Linda Tuhiwai Smith, chair of NPM’s International Research Advisory Board

And we took the opportunity to farewell NPM Co-Director Jacinta Ruru with many hearty tributes, laughs and waiata whilst sitting with our new Co-Director, Professor Tahu Kukutai who will be formally welcomed into the role at Waipapa Marae in September. 

As NPM transitions to a new funding period (2021-2028), we look forward to spring and plan for new beginnings. Aligning our activities with the rising of Matariki means recognising, appreciating and being grateful for the relationships that we have and the achievements we make together. Another year begins. 

Pou Matarua Co-Directors 

- Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora 
- Professor Tahu Kukutai 

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Hōngonoi | July 2021

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