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...

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Simon Lambert

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