Sunday, March 30, 2014

Maori and Research on Natural Hazards

Late night keyword search for 'Maori' on the Natural Hazards Research Platform (and their links) comes up with...

Sweet. F. A.

I'm asking, via email, and will post the response.

This is in preparation for a meeting with GNS peeps on their struggling NSC...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Latest volume of the Lincoln Planning Review: International Indigenous Disaster Planning, Diamond Harbour case study, and Aranui Street names...

After some gestation the latest edition of the Lincoln Planning Review is released! Well done to Courtney Guise and others on getting this baby out :)

My contribution is a very modest column on last years International conference scene for Indigenous disaster planning, taking in the UN 4th global platform in Geneva and Kyoto's IGU which I have mentioned in previous posts.

Su Vallance has an article on The role of communities in post-disaster recovery planning: A Diamond Harbour case study, and HoD of Lincoln's Department of Environmental Management, Roy Montgomery, writes a facsinating piece on Aranui's Street name in The Aranui/Hampshire Paradox: Planning and the politics of street naming in Christchurch, New Zealand
So, dig in. Lots to digest and muse upon!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Nga Pae et alia...

I went to last Thursday's hui at Waipapa on 'The Value and Future of Maori Research'. Most talk was, of course, on the recent RSNZ decision to not short-list Nga Pae's rebid.

As 162 of people on the planet know, I posted on that a couple of weeks ago. Most hits of any post of mine in 48 hours (though still less than the time I used the word 'holocaust' in a title... ) Anyway, to reiterate and elaborate:

1. I was not surprised at the decision, and I'm not alone in that. CoRE funding is hard to get and hard to maintain. No one was gonna do us any favours. All the political ducks needed to be in a line and - given the Maori Party's criticism of Minister Joyce - they clearly weren't.

2. For me, Nga Pae was always trying to be all things to all Maori. Community focused research, student support, career development, PBRF'able activities and outputs, international networking. All very important; not all weighted equally within RSNZ criteria. So, for me, it didn't all 'hang together' and given it was cross-disciplinary (indeed trans-disciplinary), I accept it could never be expected to.

3. The rebid criteria were HEAVILY weighted towards research excellence (70%). Yes we can have an ongoing debate about what excellence is in research. The Royal Society simplifies that by providing a list of criteria by which they were gonna figure it out...

No plan survives contact with then enemy, and as several keynotes explicitly said on the day, the government will screw Maori either deliberately or by accident, or usually a combination of the two.

To be caught out is remarkable.

Tipene O'Regan, Nga Pae Chair, says we are on deathrow. Cheers, next...

Leonie Pihama says if so, we go spitting and snarling along the Green Mile.

Mason Durie offered an overview and a multi-disciplinary future.

Iritana Tawhiwhirangi told us how she did it back in the day.

And I just caught Marama Muru-Lanning talking about the material difference Nga Pae made to her and her marae, notably through the MAI Doctoral programme (which, lest we forget, we had to argue for not that long ago...).

Anyhoo. What now?

I was in the Koru lounge with Prof Angus Mcfarlane during discussions but I gather Leonie Pihama and Linda Smith will lead a political charge, Charles Royal will continue with plans to form a Maori Research Institute. Life after death...

Either way, I see less money, less support, probable fragmentation (social science is simply funded less across the board, and many of the physical sciences are struggling) and we're at major risk of being simply tacked on to the National Science Challenges debacle which is a bigger tragedy as it frames research strategy for the next 10 years.

Maybe there's a secret plan so cunning you could et cetera.

There's Facebook and it's 'likes' (we actually need just one like, and that would be Stephen Joyce!), several blogs and re-blogs, letters of support and so on. I remember 'liking' a page that opposed gassing Syrian kids. They did stop but then started dropping barrel bombs from helicopters. Small mercies, right.

I'd just ask two questions:
What's the kaupapa? (Supporting Nga Pae and supporting Maori research have a lot of cross-over but they don't correspond exactly...)

Who's in charge?

And how are we going to be (re)engaged?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Housing stats for Maori

Here's the latest (admittedly broad) whare ownership stats for Aotearoa/NZ
• European (I think they may mean Pakeha :) 56.8%
• Asian  34.8%
• Māori  28.2%
• Pacific peoples  18.5%

For better or for worse, paying off our own homes is an important savings mechanism in our country. While there has been some gnashing of teeth at the overall decline of home ownership, the implications are that Maori are more likely to be paying rent as old people and less likely to have discretionary income.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The 2013-14 CoRE Funding Round – quick facts

The 2013-14 CoRE Funding Round – quick facts
·         26 CoRE (Centre of Research Excellence) proposals to select from in the CoRE fund round 2013-2014.
·         4 current CoREs not shortlisted, therefore not funded post 2015.
·         8 CoRE proposals short listed for site visits, including 3 current CoREs
·         There are no Māori led bids shortlisted, to be funded.
·         There is no Maori on the selection panel or advisory committee, nor any individual with expertise in mātauranga Māori or Māori research methods.
·         The assessment decision and therefore decision not to fund NPM in future was merely based on the assessment of one proposal.

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga (NPM) – quick facts and stats
·         NPM currently receives $5.3 million per annum, with a total of $39.6 million over 7.5 years (2008 to 2015 inclusive). This follows a contract extension granted by TEC for 18 months in lieu of expected delays in the CoRE selection round.
·         NPM’s National Maori Post-graduate programme, MAI Te Kupenga, has over 550 students involved currently, with many more being involved since its inception.
·         In addition to the MAI TK programme NPM has provided over 670 grants and scholarships to support Māori and Indigenous students and researchers working in its field of Indigenous (Māori) Development and Advancement – this includes Post Graduate scholarships, research internships, research projects, publishing and conference support grants, research methods scholarships and Fulbright awards for international research study.
·         NPM has over 95 research projects either completed or underway – these projects include are in areas from education and healthy and prosperous families to environmental restoration and optimising and understanding the Māori economy.
·         NPMs network spans all Universities in NZ, Wananga, CRI, and national museum along with community researchers, centres and other communities and Iwi authorities.  NPM has 16 partner research entities formally signed and advising the Centre and Board on NPM direction and activities, but the network and collaborators span much further and internationally.

In 2010-11 NPM underwent a mid-term review of contract performance and contribution by TEC – changes were agreed and the Centre continued to be funded.  In 2012 the Ministry of Education undertook a review of the CoRE Fund Policy and CoREs.  Their result was to conclude that:
“The review found that the CoREs policy supports high-quality research in a tertiary context, with positive social and economic benefits to New Zealand.” (source: TEC website).
NPM updated its strategic direction and research programme plan with TECs approval following the mid-term review – to move to the next phase with greater research excellence focus on priority areas. This update was agreed with TEC and the CoRE Contract varied accordingly.

Centre of Research Excellence Fund Round and Process 2013-14

Key points on process

Peer Review?
Was it reviewed by true peers knowledgeable and experienced with research concerning Māori communities, Māori approaches and methodologies and the work of Ngā Pae?
Selection panel members not named till after shortlist notification
Royal Society was asked and then advised Selection Panel members were not going to be named.  Panel members were then identified on Royal Society website during week commencing 3 March (shortlist notified 1 March). Why were they not named prior to this? And why were we advised they will not be and then they were named publically on the Royal Society’s website?

Positive International/National Reviews
We received three positive international and national reviews; one at least could be described as glowing. We had little to rebut.  Were these reviews taken into account fully?

Not role of Royal Society to ‘make funding decisions’
Here is a quote from the CoRE funding round guidelines:
It is not the role of the Royal Society of New Zealand to make funding decisions. Rather, their role is one of facilitation and “guardianship” of the assessment process, ensuring that the process is credible and defensible. To achieve this, staff will: organise all logistical aspects of the process;
·         assist the Chair of the CoREs Advisory Committee in determining realistic timetables for meetings and visits;
·         record decisions and collate feedback for applicants;
·         record any conflicts of interest and actions taken; and
·         forward the final recommendations to the Tertiary Education Commission.

It is possible that the TEC did not see that an opportunity had been given to the Royal Society to make what effectively amounts to a funding decision. Nor that Royal Society expected this.  However, by not shortlisting have they made a funding decision?

Secondly, perhaps they did not see that the Royal Society could make a decision of this magnitude (not to fund 4 existing CoREs) without involving the funder, namely the TEC.

No indication in 2012/13 from TEC officials that fundamental change is proposed
Throughout the rebid process, we received consistent messages from Tertiary Education Commission officials that the Minister was “generally satisfied with the CoREs” and was not seeking major changes to them.  We were lead to believe that the Minister was seeking greater yields of value and productivity from them rather than fundamental change. The fact that four CoREs will not be funded is a decision of extraordinary magnitude and entirely contrary to the tenor of the discussions we had with TEC officials.

Was it planned to consider existing CoREs in a different way?
The CoRE guidelines state:
Recommendations to the TEC
As part of the Government’s commitment to supporting collaborative research the CoREs Fund was increased by 10%, bringing the total annual fund to just under $35 million. The 2013/14 CoREs selection round is for operating funding only, and is a fully contestable round.
The CoREs Advisory Committee will recommend to the TEC which proposals it considers should be funded, and the level of funding to award. The TEC Board will make the final decisions and report back to Cabinet after the selection round in 2014 to seek agreement for further operating appropriations for the Centres of Research Excellence, including disinvestment decisions if relevant, prior to announcing the outcomes of the selection round to the sector.

Perhaps there was some expectation that current CoREs would be considered somewhat differently.  Or at least get short listed and their outcome included in the final decision for TEC Board ultimate decision and consultation with Cabinet regarding funding or wind down funds if any. This highlights the issue without considering context and significance of this decision – particularly for Maori and Maori research. Note that TEC has not advised CoREs not short listed, now known to have their funding cease at the end of 2015 whether there is a wind down period or any requirements.  Suggesting it is unplanned/unknown at present.

CoREs were advised initially and formally (to be confirmed communication and medium) from TEC that the CoRE rebid submission process would be from September 2013- March/April 2014 (EOI to full proposal submission).  A decision was then made and concern create that the timeframe then changed to 6 December 2013 for full final proposals – this changing everyone’s strategies and plans.  The reason one understood to be the Minister wishing to make an announcement in June 2014 and prior to election along with other science investments. 

This reduced timeframe, took CoREs by some surprise.  Ngā Pae had and has a very busy and full contract, annual programme and thus has to deliver current contracted and planned requirements while submit a proposal under a new tight timeframe.  Did the change in timeframe adversely affect the CoREs, the process and research excellence required and expected?  Ngā Pae missed out, other CoREs did.  What is the quality of those that remain?

The timeframe also pushed the Advisory Committees meetings and decision – there was very short turn around for review and consideration of documents then discussion of these documents and recommendations prior to having to announce the short list (those for site visit).  Was there adequate time to do justice to the process, the applications and consider the right decisions for CoREs in NZ?

Short list number – why so few? Are they a definite?
Only 8 proposals were short-listed by the Royal Society’s Advisory Committe, yet it was indicated in the guidelines that 10-12 would be short-listed.
See extract from Page 8, Advisory Committee guidelines for CoREs Fund 2013/14, dated October 2013.  Refer 

They do also suggest that only proposals demonstrating research excellence will go forward to the 3rd phase.

Why note visit Current CoREs?
Given the significance of the decision not to short list current CoREs, therefore have a site visit and not fund them further, jeopardizing their future and ceasing them as CoREs, why did current CoREs not get a site visit?  This means a decision to terminate 4 CoREs was made, perhaps without consideration of the context, lost investment, potential and huge effort to build and develop the collaborations and processes to get the significant outputs and outcomes the CoREs provide.  The decision was made solely on paper, one written proposal – which was under time pressure and some false understanding of performing well and no major changes expected/wanted.

The Royal Society Advisory Committee guidelines for CoREs Fund 2013/14 state:

March Site Visits
Following the February meeting, the Advisory Committee will conduct site visits to each host institution of the short listed proposed CoREs. These site visits will allow members of the Advisory Committee to ask further questions and raise issues that are not readily addressed in the written proposal. The visits also allow the Committee to assess the suitability of the host organisation’s provision of facilities, and to observe interactions between representatives of both host and partner organisations. Each site visit is anticipated to last for approximately half a day.

This appears to recognise the significance of further questions and information to address matters not included or requested in the application/written proposal.  Thus enabling questions of performance, how issues raised in assessment are addressed or even understood to ensure the correct and robust decision.

Scoring criteria - to be funded by international agency!
Grading System (Section 2; confidential)
In Section 2 of the report, please provide two grades. This section consists of radio buttons on the online portal. Note that the grades will not be made available to applicants, which is why this scale is included in “confidential” information in Section 2.
Grade A is an overall grade for the proposed research of the CoRE (the first criterion given above).
Please use the following scale:
Grade 1: Outstanding (almost certain to be funded by any international agency)
Grade 2: Excellent (very likely to be funded by any international agency)
Grade 3: Well above average (worthy of funding)
Grade 4: Average (to be funded only if money permits as contains minor flaws)
Grade 5: Below average (unlikely to be funded as contains moderate flaws)
Grade 6: Well below average (would not be funded as contains serious flaws)

This to me totally had us out of the game - our distinct and unique research will not get international funders or national for that matter.  Was it really the right criteria to apply - whether internationally fundable by another agency. If that was the case - why fund through CoRE Fund?

Some additional points:

Performance of CoREs
TEC notes on its website:

Review of CoREs Funding
In 2012 and 2013, the Ministry of Education carried out a review of the CoREs Fund.
The review found that the CoREs policy supports high-quality research in a tertiary context, with positive social and economic benefits to New Zealand.
As a result of the review, a new performance monitoring framework is being developed by the Ministry and the TEC to show the contribution CoREs are making. The framework will provide for how the TEC will monitor each CoRE’s commitments.
More information about the review’s findings can be found at the Ministry of Education's website.
This was a review of current CoREs, therefore showing the performance to expected standards.  If the independent selection panel and committee recommend to support CoREs that do not achieve this we know the process was flawed!

Funding round advice
TEC also notes on their website:

Funding round
2013/14 selection round

As part of its commitment to supporting collaborative research, the Government is holding a selection round for CoREs in 2013/14. The 2013 Budget allocation increased the fund by 10%, bringing the total amount of annual funding to just under $35 million. The CoREs funding is for operational costs and operational expenditure only.
The TEC has contracted the Royal Society of New Zealand to establish the necessary processes to provide the TEC with recommendations for funding future CoREs. The Royal Society of New Zealand provided similar support in previous CoREs selection rounds, and is recognised for its independence and understanding of research provision.

The above again highlights, as the Royal Society guidelines did, that the role of the Royal Society was to make recommendations to TEC, not funding decisions.  And not short listing so out no CoRE funding post 2015 is a funding decision!

Associate Professor Leonie Pihama (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Māhanga, Ngā Māhanga ā Tairi)
Director, Te Mata Punenga o Te Kotahi, University of Waikato

Koi te mata punenga, maiangi te mata pūihoiho!

Imagine the invisible | Explore the potential | Defy the impossible

Maori continuing to struggle in post-disaster Otautahi

CERA has released their third Wellbeing survey on Christchurch residents.

Results point to ongoing struggles against isolation, poverty and frustrations with the recovery for Maori individuals, whanau and communities.

For those more likely to say they have experienced stress always or most of the time (22% of respondents) are:

  • Living with a physical health condition or disability (34%)
  • Of Māori ethnicity (32%)

The report (available HERE) paints a picture of ongoing isolation and frustrationfor Maori. A third of all Maori respondents report ‘stress all or most of the time’!

One interesting piece of information is who people would look to for help...

I note the low ranking of 'Runanga' in this though of course what runanga would compare with aku hoa me te whanau!!

While not surprised at these results (which match what our own research is showing), I am disappointed at the lack of voice for our communities. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Value and Future of Maori Research

Nga Pae is to hold a seminar this Thursday on The Value and Future of Maori Research.

As valid as the event is in its own right, without our political ducks lined up I fear we are currently whistling in the dark. For many if not most Maori researchers it is apparent that Maori have collectively dropped the ball, on NSC, CoREs, Vision Matauranga, maybe all the way back to NCEA.

The political shambles is interesting. A recent policy analysis noted Pita Sharples was 'not in the best position to be pointing out contradictions and blaming the Government' because he is an Associate Minister of Education, and colleague Tariana Turia is Associate Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. 

The Royal Society is also independent, and blaming them for the Nga Pae outcome is foolish.

All that talk about the ‘Maori economy’ - pushed hard by Sharples - begs the question why this economy cannot fund its much needed research. (Okay, the 'Maori Economy' will be in scare-quotes for a while yet... and its main research interests are cows, pines, and rapidly disappearing fish).
There is no Maori research collective, and therefore no united position or even a means to reach consensus. Nga Pae has been that voice by default, and I am aware of efforts by friends to build a national network.

Time for things to come together...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Maori Research Funding

It is difficult to get precise figures for the amount of government investment in Maori research. Three years ago I searched through the FRST Research Abstracts and Report Databases for 2008/09 (keyword 'Māori’) and found 65 projects worth  $51,572,684 out of a total allocation of $500,069,064.

This equates to 10.3% (but does not include other significant funders such as the Health Research Council). 

Many of these projects did not have a significant Māori component (one colleague guessed 10%). Although this in itself does not disqualify any project from being important to Māori, many of us will have been the lone Maori voice on a CRI or other type of project. 

Tutae/uphill/small fork

Further scanning these 65 projects I broke them down to broad sectors and found $38 million for work relevant to Māori land and resources, of which $8,728,555 is designated towards agribusiness; $14,180,423 to forestry; and $1,575,306 to Māori horticulture.

I've just tried to update this survey on MoBIES webpage and came away completely confused. Again the keyword 'Maori' can be put in, and, da da, $404,877,608.10. 

Love the ten cents.

I clicked on one project 'Adaption to climate variability and change' with NIWA, and found it's worth over 19 million dollars and then sez 'in this small contract we aim to assist Maori communities to better manage the impacts of climate variability' blah blah blah. But this is an old project, starting 2002.

Aha, this is ALL MoBy funded projects dating back to the FRST and then MSI stuff.

I changed the dates and identified projects starting in the last 2 years and came up with $72 million funding across 13 projects. One is of relevance to my research on the impacts of the Otautahi earthquakes on Maori...

No, they didn't ask me ;-(

But that's another korero. At this point it's not possible from the MoBIE data base to identify the funding for Maori researchers, a major concern with the possible/probably demise of Nga Pae. 

So, question: Has the amount of government funding for Maori research truly increased (as my simple keyword search would suggest)?

And if so are we benefiting as Maori researchers??

Monday, March 10, 2014

'What tumbles down': Message from Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith and others on Nga Pae...

Kia Ora,
Please forgive any spelling or grammar errors.

It takes years to develop a research infrastructure. It takes years to develop centres of research excellence. Firstly, it takes an excellent education system as researchers must succeed to the highest qualifications in their fields and new researchers need to be trained continuously. It takes the right synergies of knowledge as excellent researchers are trained and supported in diverse knowledge cultures.

It takes discipline, perseverance and tolerance as researchers learn as much through failure and elimination as they do from success. It takes insight to understand the implications of serendipity. It takes difference and determination to carve out new areas of knowledge that challenge current thinking. It takes a wide community and network of similar minds as researchers learn from each other. It takes vision and stamina to build novel programmes of research that can address complex and inter-related problems. It takes a dose of sheer doggedness to forge a research direction when others want to set out to someplace different or to stay put. It takes an alliance of related systems that review, fund and publish research, that translate it into public knowledge like curriculum, that apply research into other contexts, that produce new or improved practices and products. It takes collaborations across disciplinary, institutional, national and international boundaries to get the best minds and skills available to advance the research. It takes institutional support to provide the best working environment for researchers. It takes institutional and public patience to wait for the next chapter of life changing research. It takes massive investment by the public through education and by the public and others through the funding of research. It takes a certain kind of ambition to persist in the pursuit of knowledge that may not yield quick fixes, widgets and gadgets, or social transformation in this generation and it takes a certain kind of society that believes it important to invest in the continuous development of knowledge for its longer term well-being.

In my area of Māori research, it took decades to develop the foundations of a single national research infrastructure. It took decades upon decades for Māori to make their way, one by one, through an education system that was not excellent to gain the highest qualifications. It took persistence to survive in knowledge cultures that did not value diversity let alone Māori knowledge. It took vision to focus on producing a critical mass of Māori with the highest academic qualifications from New Zealand and international institutions. It took the largest and possibly the most novel and challenging of collaborations to build a strong network of researchers who would focus their minds and efforts on Māori development. It rounded up all the 'ones' and the 'twos' of Māori researchers scattered across institutions to create a critical community of researchers who could support new research. It established journals, created avenues of engagement with the most suspicious of communities, and stimulated intellectual engagements across disciplines, communities, and languages. It supported research that was explicitly focussed on creating change, on improving outcomes and on developing communities. It had to win institutional support by winning funding.

It created novel approaches that other centres of excellence borrowed and adapted. It created new methodologies for exploring social and cultural interfaces that are cited in international journals and applied in many other contexts. It's capacity development programme for PhDs is replicated in parts of Canada and the USA at top institutions.

So what tumbles down when Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is informed it will no longer be funded? A centre? Some funding? Yes of course, but much more. What tumbles down will cut more deeply into the capacity, momentum, community, system of knowledge, networks, relationships, intellectual excitement that was emerging from this Centre of Research Excellence. What tumbles down is an infrastructure that was built from scratch, from ones and twos, that had no previous models to borrow from, that was truly internationally innovative, multi-disciplinary, that was producing exciting young scholars footing it internationally and in our own communities. What tumbles down is a national infrastructure that could support Māori development across a range of dimensions that simply cannot be provided for existing institutions. More importantly what tumbles down is a set of beliefs that the research system is genuinely interested in innovation, has a capacity to recognise or know how to support innovation outside its cultural frame, believes in its own rhetoric or actually understands the short term nature of its investments in research.

Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Pro Vice Chancellor Māori

Dean of Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao The School of Māori and Pacific Development The University of Waikato New Zealand

From Aroha Mead:

Kia ora,

As with others I am very disappointed with this decision. I was a member of the very first CoRE Selection Panel that selected Nga Pae o te Maramatanga (NPTM). NPTM' s bid was in a class of its own. It stood out from all others as it presented a bold vision of cultural and social transformation and the practical means by which to achieve this. At that time there were three Maori on the CoRE Panel (Sir Paul Reeves, Pare Keiha and myself).

Over the years NPTM have delivered ten fold on the goals they set and in so doing have forever changed the characteristics of what constitutes 'excellent Maori research'. Protocols such as FPIC, reciprocity, long-term relationships, capacity building of communities are now entrenched.

I remember reporting to the Commerce Faculty Board about NPOTM's vision to achieve 500 Maori PhDs in five years. Colleagues scoffed and chuckled and someone said why set such an unrealistic goal, surely it would be better to aim for something achievable like 5 PhDs to which I responded," 5 is status quo, it's business as usual - 500 requires radical change." The precise number was never the point, it was to radically transform the tertiary system in order to prepare Maoridom,  NZ society and academia for 500 internationally benchmarked Maori experts. To reclaim Maori expertise in the telling of our stories and analysis of issues impacting on our whanau and communities.

Funders tend to lose sight of the fact that it takes a long time to build and grow collaborative networks such as that envisaged in the CoRE. It takes years to build the critical mass of researchers that NPOTM amassed, to gain the national and international credibility that NPOTM achieved, to establish and sustain the AlterNative peer-viewed journal which is now a standard indigenous researchers aspire to publish in, to convene leading scholars for the NPOTM Conferences and to maintain the MAI network in order to keep the vision of Maori PhDs achievable. 10 years ago a PhD was generally regarded as a mystery - something unobtainable to most, but now, it seems that Maori of all ages and backgrounds have embarked on their PhD journey. It is truly remarkable. NPOTM played a big part in de-constructing the notion of a PhD as 'out of reach' to Maori.

It is incredibly disappointing that all of this was set aside by the Selection Panel, and that those entities who have been short-listed don't include strong Maori streams within them. The Panel therefore has chosen to disinvest and abandon something proven to have worked in favour of 'new' entities with no strong Maori research components.

Sorry for the rant - am very sad for the impacts this will have on Maori researchers.


 From Melanie Shadbolt:
..... other CoREs also missed out on the site visits and those CoREs also have Maori staff. My CoRE the Bio-Protection Research Center housed not only two Maori staff but supported other Maori PG students and researchers (15 on our last list) and had as part of its rebid a very extensive Maori research component. Alas we didn't make the short list either.  The decision to not support Nga Pae is concerning but the wider decisions have huge ramifications for Maori researchers in the fundamental and applied science arena.  

(Lincoln University)

From Lynne Russell

Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga have not only invested so much into Maori health researchers like myself over the years, but more importantly have HUGELY supported the research kaupapa identified by our communities to be important in the advancement of Maori health.  So the announcement that they will not be funded in the next national funding round, and that in fact, for the 2013/2014 round there are NO Maori Centres of Research Excellence in the final round for consideration, is hugely significant. That there are no identifiable Maori on the selection panels, making the ability to assess research using Kaupapa Maori frameworks non-existent, highlights how poorly Indigenous health research now rates. This is such a significant step backwards for Maori health research, for Maori health, and for Maori. I commend Dr. Leonie Pihama on this response.

Ngā mihi nui
Dr. Lynne Russell  (Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Kāti Māmoe, Rangitāne, Ngāti Porou)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Maori and fracking

What do we make of the power (technology with intent) to rouse Ruaumoko?!

US Geological Survey research connecting fracking with earthquakes.

U.S. Geological Survey confirms: Human activity caused 5.7 quake in Oklahoma (via Raw Story )
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued a press release yesterday indicating that the magnitude 5.7 earthquake that struck Prague, Oklahoma in 2011 was unintentionally human-induced. The USGS claims that the magnitude 5.0 earthquake triggered…

Friday, March 07, 2014

I don't wanna say is racist but...

...they don't vet the bigots.

I complained once, and got an acknowledgement that yeah someone had been a bit OTT.

I always like to know what's going on, so I follow stuff like this.

But sheesh, raise the tone Bernie. Can't say you're not making money off the site?!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Blog post from Dr. Leonie Pihama

"For the 2013/2014 round there are NO Maori CORE’s in the final round for consideration."

Also doing the rounds on FB.

Simmering anger, which is the professional way to be angry...

CoRE Selection Panels...

As far as I can tell, this is the panel that would have deselected Nga Pae:

Social Sciences, Economics and Policy (SEP)

Including education; sociology; demography; Māori studies and New Zealand society; economics; policy development; and international relations.
Professor Jon AltmanThe Australian National University
Professor Manying IpThe University of Auckland
Professor Karen NeroUniversity of Otago
Professor Jason PottsRMIT University
Professor Lydia WeversVictoria University of Wellington
The assessment guidelines for the Selection Panels can be found here.
Full panel memberships here.

Again, as I've said on FB, this is not the final decision. If another proposal is still in play for Maori then what this would amount to is another institution to support Maori research and researchers. As I've said, this is not necessarily bad.

Of course there may be no new Maori CoRE. Which would be very bad...

Maori Scholarships

Check 'em out...

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Maori Research Funding: Nga Pae et alia

I see much viewing and the occasional comment on my last post on Nga Pae's non-short-listing for CoRE funding. There is also a press release from the Maori Party, which I've commented on via FB. [Note Bene: Nga Pae was represented on the Panel that was convened to frame the ongoing National Science Challenges].

Current concern and anger directed towards the government at this stage of the process is premature, at least until such time as their final decisions are announced.

There are plenty of rumours circulating about competing bids by Maori researchers for CoRE funding. If these bids exist - and I just hear stuff coated in kumara vine dust - and are subsequently unsuccessful, then we can raise merry hell. I've even heard rumours of Nga Pae Board members supporting competitive bids!

If the government is clever (HAHAHAHA), they will announce a new CORE for Maori research.

The research funding environment is political, competitive, fraught, and bound to disappoint the majority of participants. I don't like it, but I use to work on the killing chain at Tegal. I mainly slit turkey throats, and I was a vegetarian at the time :(

Trust me, most jobs are better than that...

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga to end

Rumours that surfaced over the weekend have turned out to be true: Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the only Centre of Research Excellence focused on Maori concerns, has not made the short-list for continued funding.

They are in good company. Lincoln University's Bioprotection Research Centre, Massey's Riddet Centre (food and digestion) and Gravida (human growth and development) have all missed the cut.

Nga Pae's director, CHarles Royal said in a release that they were 'deeply disappointed' and planned to reflect on the decision, planning the response and next steps.

Funding is in place until 2015, which will help support some of our postgrad support at Lincoln.

I admit to being more surprised at the Bioprotection decision than the Nga Pae one. For various reason, Nga Pae hasn't pulled together under the vision first articulated a decade ago. The International links never coagulated into strong research ties. Visiting speakers are all very well but you have to translate all the korero into mahi.

Anyways, life goes on. Decisions on what may amount to four new CoREs will be out soon.

Given the confusion over the National Science Challenges, I have no great hope for Aoteaora/NZ being able to research its way into a sustainable, prosperous, secure future.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Te Ahuwhenua 2014

Great new website promotes and updates Te Ahuwhenua, the Maori Farmer of the Year Trophy that dates back to Apirana Ngata's initiative in the 1930s.

Finalists for this years award (from the Dairy sector) are: Putauaki Trust, Ngati Awa Farms (both from Bay of Plenty), and Te Rua o te Moko Ltd. (Taranaki).

Simon Lambert

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