This monograph is a compilation of four papers presented by Māori scientists at Turnbull House, Wellington, in November 2005. The papers were delivered as part of the Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Policy Seminar Series “Progressing Māori Development through Research”. Each of the scientists―namely James Ātaria, Elizabeth McKinley, Michael Walker and Shane Wright―has carried out pioneering work in her or his field and contributed to wider Māori enterprise and development. The papers give an overview of their research and address issues such as being a Māori scientist, doing scientific research, barriers to Māori in science and science education and the development of policy to overcome barriers and promote Māori involvement in science.
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This monograph explores the ways in which collaborative research relationships with Māori communities can be developed effectively and appropriately. The focus is the institutional and epistemological environments that social researchers work within. While there is a growing body of international literature about the engagement of social sciences research with indigenous communities, there are relatively few researchers who actively theorise the institutional, political, and conceptual frameworks surrounding the research engagement process with indigenous communities.
The monograph is comprised of a series of papers that look into the epistemological and institutional tensions that emerge when academic researchers engage with Māori communities. The underlying theme is that academic disciplines and institutional frameworks are structured in ways that mediate the research relationship. Peter L. Berger’s theory of mediating structures is used as an organising principle for this analysis.
In a discussion of research engagement between Māori communities and universities, the author identifies how academic ways of thinking about community, and particularly the tendency to problematise the concept, can stand in the way of establishing effective mediating structures. The paper, entitled “Collaborative Research in the Post-9/11 Climate”, explores the effect of the current world political climate on the ability of academic researchers and indigenous peoples to construct responsive collaborative relationships. Another paper investigates how the structures of disciplinary knowledge can undermine research with Māori, while the final one looks at the work of university ethics committees in mediating the research relationship with Māori communities.
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High quality research leading to practical outcomes that result in the development and advancement of Māori is fundamental to the future of the nation. It is important that policy analysts are provided a forum where they can be brought together with Māori researchers who are leading the development of this high quality research. For this reason, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, The National Institute of Research Excellence for Māori Development and Advancement, initiated a Research and Policy Seminar Series designed to create a space for dialogue between policy analysts and Māori researchers.
The theme selected for each Research and Policy Seminar highlighted issues that traverse the different ministries, departments and agencies, and that significantly impact on Māori cultural, social and economic development and wellbeing. The different researchers selected for each Research and Policy Seminar represented a wide variety of perspectives on the chosen theme.
In this Research and Policy Seminar Series, invited policy analysts and representatives from different ministries and government agencies heard presentations from a variety of leading Māori researchers in the country and were given the opportunity of dialogue with researchers who are not only connected to leading research institutions but also extensive community networks. Because high quality research is a creative and innovative process, engagement with top researchers is an essential ingredient in the development of policy that will have long lasting impact in both the medium and long-term in New Zealand. An additional perspective is added to the Seminar Series with the incorporation of a Ministry/Agency respondent who also presented a paper on the seminar topic.
This monograph represents a compilation of papers, including paper submissions by the researchers of their presentation, a brief submission by a representative from the Ministry of Education, Rāwiri Brell, and a paper written by Howard Fancy, Secretary for Education, which was relevant to the seminar topics. The monograph also includes a summary transcription of the discussion that took place at the conclusion of the presentations.
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The inaugural Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Seminar Series 2004 and inaugural Professorial Lectures were well received by the seminar attendees. The kaupapa of the seminars and inaugural lectures was to showcase Māori researchers and their work. The seminars have provided an opportunity for showcasing an excellent sampling of the wealth of Māori research excellence which exists.
The seminars generated interest amongst a broad range of groups. This was reflected in the seminar audiences which included researchers from institutions and communities, professionals in the field, students, and both the Māori and general media.
A highlight of the series included two professorial lectures which were delivered in Tāne-Nui-ā-Rangi, Waipapa Marae. Professor Margaret Mutu, Head of Department of Māori Studies, presented her lecture entitled: Recovering Fagin's Ill-gotten Gains: Ngāti Kahu's experience in the Treaty claims settlement process. Professor Linda Smith, Joint Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, presented her lecture entitled: Māori Education in Uncertain Times: legacies, learnings and challenges. These were both extremely well received by the large audiences that attended them. Sadness followed Professor Mutu's lecture however when Professor Mutu's husband, Tūhoe Mānuera, suddenly passed away.
The seminar series concluded with a powerful joint presentation by Professors Ranginui Walker and Hirini Mead, discussing their view of Māori research excellence. Professor Ranginui Walker's lecture was titled: Growing Research Skills at Iwi Level. Professor Hirini Mead's lecture was: Researching Issues of Interest to Māori. This monograph is a compilation of papers written by some of the presenters from the 2004 seminar series.