Ngā Kete Mātauranga: Māori scholars at the research interface by Jacinta Ruru & Linda Waimarie Nikora (eds) (Otago University Press, 2021), 340pp., $60
Ngā Kete Mātauranga, a collection of stories from twenty-four leading Māori researchers, creates a virtual community for tauira, academics and whānau to experience whakawhanaungatanga with a constellation of scholars who speak to us in their own words. Edited by Jacinta Ruru and Linda Waimarie Nikora, this repository of knowledge is the result of a partnership initiative between Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga and the Royal Society Te Apārangi and was published this year by the Otago University Press.
It is moving to encounter so many Māori researchers in one place. Indigenous scholars are thinly spread, often isolated in institutions with little support or recognition, and the contributors to this book relate their personal experience of this lonely reality. In the kōrero whakamutunga which closes the book, the editors remark: ‘We would confidently guess that most university departments today employ maybe one fully tenured Māori academic staff member at best.’ We know from the published work of researchers Tara McAllister, Sereana Naepi, Joanna Kidman, Reremoana Theodore and Olivia Rowley that Māori make up only five percent of academics in our universities. [Read more…]