Nga Kete Matauranga
Maori Scholars at the Research Interface
By: Jacinta Ruru & Linda Waimarie Nikora
In this beautiful and transformative book, 24 Māori academics share their personal journeys, revealing what being Māori has meant for them in their work. Their perspectives provide insight for all New Zealanders into how mātauranga is positively influencing the Western dominated disciplines of knowledge in the research sector. It is a shameful fact, says co-editor Jacinta Ruru in her introduction to Ngā Kete Mātauranga, that in 2020, only about 5 percent of academic staff at universities in Aotearoa New Zealand are Māori. Tertiary institutions have for the most part been hostile places for Indigenous students and staff, and this book is an important call for action. ‘It is well past time that our country seriously commits to decolonising the tertiary workforce, curriculum and research agenda,’ writes Professor Ruru. The book demonstrates the power, energy and diversity that can be brought out into the world by Māori scholars working both comfortably and uncomfortably from within, without and across diverse academic disciplines and mātauranga Māori. – Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith These deeply personal stories provide a portal into the te ao Māori world, which many outside it seek to understand, but struggle to find a frame in which to do so. The abstract concept of decolonising the tertiary workforce is brought to life and given meaning by these kōrero of strength, where the authors display courage and vision from within an environment so often hostile to Indigenous ways of knowing. Read it, be inspired, and welcome this refreshingly written challenge to embrace mātauranga Māori and build a stronger academy.