Killing Off The Researchers Won't Make Problems Disappear
Killing Off The Researchers Won't Make The Problems Disappear
MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira
Monday 10 March 2014
“Unbelievable” was the reaction of MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira, upon hearing the news that government had decided to cut funding to the Māori research body, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. “At a time when Māori are under such pressure in terms of health, housing, education and jobs, this decision to kill off the country’s leading Māori research institute is a massive step backwards for all Māori.”
“Ngā Pae is the one place where Māori researchers could access funding to research issues affecting Māori people and outline solutions. Now that they are gone, where are the solutions going to come from?” asked Harawira. “I doubt that the answers will come from the white Australians that sat on the panel to decide who gets research funding. We all know their track record on Indigenous rights – now it looks like they’re calling the shots on research priorities here as well!
“As for Stephen Joyce saying ‘It is important that this is an independent process with scientists measuring the progress of each of these COREs’, he clearly has no idea of our history and the developments made over the past 30 years to develop a solid Māori research base.
“The notion that Māori research should be defined and led by white scientists was rejected by our people a long time ago and for a very good reason - most of it was based on ignorance and racist ideologies” said Harawira. “Joyce would do well to read a paper on the general direction of research funding in Aotearoa, submitted recently by leading Māori academics such as Linda Smith, Mason Durie, Margaret Mutu, Leonie Pihama, Papaarangi Reid, and Paul Tapsell.
“And again, I challenge the Māori Party to say ‘enough is enough’ and walk away from National. They’ve stripped the welfare budget, they’ve gutted the state housing sector, and now they’re killing off the Māori research body qualified to provide the analysis of the harm being caused by these policies.
“The only viable position for the Māori Party is to reinstate funding for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga or walk. Huffing and puffing won’t cut it anymore.