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Māori Party Celebrates Research Excellence

The Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Tamaki Makaurau
21 November 2012

Māori Party Celebrates Research Excellence

The Māori Party congratulates the recipients of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s awards and medals, which were presented last night during the society’s annual gala dinner.

Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said he was pleased to see Māori being honoured, including a recipient of the Dame Joan Metge Medal for Social Science Research, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, and the Pou Aronui Award to Professor Jonathan Mane-Wheoki

“Professor Smith has led kaupapa Maori education research for nearly a generation, to establish a philosophical and theoretical basis for evaluating education from a Māori cultural perspective,” said Dr Sharples.

“She has enabled us to consider the results of education not only in terms of students’ personal achievement and success, but also in terms of its contribution to Māori social and cultural development. In her mentoring, and her new research methodologies, Professor Smith has placed decolonisation at the heart of Māori strategies to regain control over our own destiny and the future for our children.

“Her own career led the growth of Māori research capability, as she helped to found the Indigenous Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education (IRI), Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Centre for Research Excellence, and most recently Te Kotahi Research Institute. As an academic leader, Professor Smith has promoted a rapidly growing number of Māori into post-graduate and post-doctoral studies.

“Professor Mane-Wheoki’s award for outstanding contribution to the Humanities acknowledges his career promoting intergenerational transmission of cultural heritage as the foundation for the maintenance and resurgence of traditional society and culture.

“He was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Pou Aronui award, and I am so pleased that, eight years after its establishment, he has received the high honour of becoming its recipient.”

“I am also very proud that a new medal category has been established in honour of Sir Mason Durie. This is a high honour indeed, and will forever remind us of the level of excellence associated with Sir Mason’s work. The inaugural medal was awarded to Professor Russell Gray for advances in the frontiers of social science.”

“I congratulate all the recipients of this year’s awards, and I certainly hope that public recognition of pioneering Māori scientists will encourage Māori to consider research and science as study and career options, for the benefit of Māori social, cultural and economic development,” said Dr Sharples.


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