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University of Auckland professor honoured

University of Auckland professor honoured for work to advance Māori well-being

Tracey McIntosh, Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Auckland, has been honoured by the New Zealand Royal Society Te Apārangi for her ground-breaking work in advancing our understanding of the enduring social injustices that undermine Māori wellbeing.

Professor McIntosh, co-head of the University’s Te Wānanga o Waipapa (School of Maori and Pacific Studies) was awarded the Society’s 2017 Te Rangi Hiroa Medal for Social Sciences at a gala dinner in Auckland last night.

“I am honoured to accept this award that acknowledges the importance of Māori research that is centred in the margins and draws on the knowledge of communities to deliver solutions that are sustainable and transformative,” says Professor McIntosh.

Her research looks at on how to correct the intergenerational transmission of social inequalities, particularly how they relate to Māori. She focuses on the incarceration of Māori women and on male ex-prisoners with gang affiliations and highlights the relationship between imprisonment, which socially excludes Māori, and the reproduction of ethnic and class disparities and intergenerational inequality.

Professor McIntosh’s work has three central pillars: education and creative writing in prisons; the intergenerational transfer of social inequalities and government, community and whanau-based responses; and evidence-informed policy and advice.

The Society’s medal selection committee said Professor McIntosh’s work demonstrates a transformative approach to her research, teaching and service, steeped in Māori values, particularly whanaungatanga (relationships, connections and a feeling of belonging)and manaakitanga (process of showing respect, generosity and care).

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“She seeks culturally sound, meaningful evidence-informed solutions that recognise the strengths, aspirations and knowledge that resides within communities.”

In 2016 Professor McIntosh appeared as expert witness at the Waitangi Tribunal Wai 2540 claim concerning the Crown’s alleged failure to meet its Treaty obligations to reduce reoffending among Māori.

She sits on several governance boards, particularly on social harm reduction, including JustSpeak and Te Ira both working for a just and inclusive Aotearoa.

Professor McIntosh was formerly co-director and director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, making fundamental contributions to developing and supporting Māori research and successfully led the institution’s rebid as a Centre of Research Excellence. In 2016, she received a national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award in the Kaupapa Māori category.


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