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Source: Massey University

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori, Professor Meihana Durie and Associate Professor Krushil Watene are two of 24 Māori academics featured in the new publication.  

Two Massey academics have shared their personal experiences as Māori academics in a new book titled Ngā Kete Mātauranga: Māori scholars at the research interface. 

Associate Professor Krushil Watene and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori, Professor Meihana Durie are two of 24 Māori academics featured in the new publication.  
In this book, edited by Otago University’s Professor Jacinta Ruru, and Professor Linda Waimarie from University of Auckland, Māori academics from around Aotearoa share their personal journeys, revealing what being Māori has meant for them in their work. 
Professor Durie says the stories collated for the book also reflect and emphasise the essence of Mātauranga in that it is part of a wider eco-system, connected through lived experiences, the processes of wānanga and guided by kaupapa, tikanga, kawa and Te Reo. 
“Ngā Kete Mātauranga I think highlights the criticality of Mātauranga as a fundamental foundation of Te Ao Māori that informs the distinctive and diverse realities and interfaces that are traversed by whānau, hapū, iwi and communities.   
As institutions such as Universities continue to give greater emphasis to Mātauranga, there is much work yet to be done to ensure that the integrity of Mātauranga as an immutable dimension of Te Ao Māori can be sustained and Ngā Kete Mātauranga will be a useful resource and reference point in this regard.”

Professor Durie also acknowledges the tremendous work of the co-editors, Professor Ruru and Professor Waimarie Nikora, from Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga; “they have curated and woven together the stories, reflections and perspectives of multiple contributors in way that reflects the essence and richness of Mātauranga” 

These deeply personal stories provide a portal into the te ao Māori world, which many outside it seek to understand, but struggle to find a frame in which to do so.  

“The book provides intimate insights into the lives of Māori scholars and communities, and in so doing exemplifies the idea of intimate connection explicit in Mātauranga Māori,” Associate Professor Watene says, “It was a privilege to be part of this book with so many leading scholars – not least Professor Meihana Durie.” 
“It is not often that we get to reflect on and pay tribute to the people and places that shape our journeys, and it is a tribute to Professors Ruru and Waimarie Nikora that they have created space to do that. 
I have already learnt so much from the generous insights shared by others in the book. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga continues to nurture mātauranga by pushing the boundaries of knowledge, and reminding us of our rich heritage.” 
Their perspectives provide insight for all New Zealanders into how mātauranga – (knowledge) is positively influencing the Western-dominated learning disciplines.  
“It is a shameful fact,” says co-editor Jacinta Ruru in her introduction to Ngā Kete Mātauranga, “that in 2020, only about five percent of academic staff at universities in Aotearoa New Zealand are Māori.” 
Ngā Kete Mātauranga is available in stores from the 11th of February. 

Ngā Kete Mātauranga: Māori scholars at the research interface | Edited by Jacinta Ruru & Linda Waimarie Nikora | Otago University Press | Published mid-February 2021 | $60 

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