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International honours for Māori researchers

4 April 2014

Māori Party celebrates international honours for Māori researchers

The Māori Party congratulates the two Māori recipients of prestigious AERA Fellowships that are being presented in Philadelphia today to Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith of Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou, and Distinguished Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith of Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu and Kai Tahu.

The American Educational Research Association is the centre of a global network of education researchers, and Fellowships are awarded by expert practitioners to recognise sustained excellence in the field. University of Waikato Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Professor Linda Smith and her husband Distinguished Professor Graham Smith, the CEO of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi based in Whakatane, are the only two New Zealanders among 22 Fellows to be inducted this year.

“It is gratifying to see the work of our leading academics and scholars being recognised by their professional peers around the world,” says Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

“Both Linda and Graham are teachers and educators who have gone on to make outstanding contributions to developing kaupapa Māori research and education methodologies, so that research design and educational pedagogy reflect indigenous world views and help indigenous communities to achieve their own goals.”

“As academics, they have written seminal texts and papers, mentored a whole generation of outstanding students, and overseen research projects that have transformed communities across Aotearoa and around the world,” says Dr Pita Sharples.

“They are leading contributors to international forums and debates on indigenous theory and practice in research and education, and strategies for indigenous communities to regain control of their own destiny for future generations.”

“They have also devoted time and effort to support New Zealand’s national research bodies and professional associations including the Health Research Council, the Marsden Fund Council and the NZ Association for Research in Education,” says Dr Sharples.

“It is wonderful that their insight and passion has been recognised by their peers around the world. This emphasises really the crucial importance of the pioneering indigenous Centre of Research Excellence Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga which has consolidated and promoted their transformational approach,” says Co-leader Tariana Turia.

“The Māori Party certainly hopes the Minister of Tertiary Education takes note of the high esteem in which Professors Graham and Linda Smith are held, as reflected in these fellowships, and considers how their work can best be honoured in their homeland.”

Background

• Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, (Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou) is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor of Education and Māori Development and Dean of the School of Māori and Pacific Development at the University of Waikato. In 2013 she was awarded a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Māori and education. Her book, Decolonising Methodologies Research and Indigenous Peoples has been an international best seller in the indigenous world since its publication in 1998. She is a member of New Zealand’s Health Research Council, Chair of the Māori Health Committee, a member of the Marsden Fund Council and Convener of the Social Sciences Assessment Panel and a member on the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Professor Smith was a founding Joint Director of New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence from 2002-2007. She is a former President of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education and most recently served as a member of the Constitutional Advisory Panel.

• Distinguished Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith (Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Kai Tahu and Ngāti Porou), is the Chief Executive Officer of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne. Professor Graham Smith was the first teacher of a kura kaupapa Māori immersion school, taking leave without pay for a year to model the concept. Professor Smith was Pro Vice Chancellor (Māori) for four and half years at the University of Auckland. Following this he was invited to take up a Visiting Chair as the Universitas 21 Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of British Columbia a position he held for five years. He has lead a concentrated effort to increase numbers of Māori students at Masters and Doctoral level.

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