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Principal Māori academic appointed

19 June 2015
- for immediate release

Principal Māori academic appointed

Lincoln University – New Zealand’s specialist land-based University – today announced the appointment of Professor Hirini Matunga (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Paerangi (Atiu, Cook Islands)) as the University’s Professor of Māori & Indigenous Development.

“This is the University’s principal Māori academic position and I am delighted that we have been able to bring this top academic back into a teaching and research position,” says Dr Stefanie Rixecker, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Scholarship and Research.

“Professor Matunga has been part of the senior leadership team at Lincoln for many years and has been instrumental in developing relationships with Iwi all around New Zealand, and in the formation of our Whenua Strategy – the strategy that drives the University’s engagement with Māori in the land-based sectors in a way that gives rise to meaningful and enduring partnerships. His contribution in this has indeed been valuable, but his passion lies in the academic world and I am pleased that Professor Matunga will be taking up this senior professorial position.”

Professor Matunga is “very excited to be returning to teaching and the academic world. Working at the University in a senior non-academic role has presented many opportunities and has enabled me to play a large part in bringing about programmes and partnerships between the University and Iwi that will benefit the land-based sectors well into the future, and I am very proud of that. My return to academia though is timely. I have in many ways missed the interaction with students and the strive for research excellence that I see all the time at this University – and I am looking forward to getting back into it.”

Professor Matunga has been with the University since 1993 and, prior to being appointed as Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori) in 2003, was the Director of the Centre for Māori and Indigenous Planning and Development. Before Lincoln, he was a Senior Lecturer in Planning at the University of Auckland, although his working life started outside academia, first at the Ministry of Works and later as a Senior Planner specialising in Māori Issues at Auckland Regional Council. Professor Matunga received an outstanding-service award from the NZ Planning Institute’s Papa Pounamu at the NZPI 2015 congress, for Māori environmental planning and resource management.

In the role of Professor of Māori & Indigenous Development, Professor Matunga will undertake research and teaching in the area of Māori and Indigenous Planning, as well as teaching into the new programmes currently under development.


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