Celebrating Māori Researchers and Scholars

The achievements of Māori researchers, scholars and innovators were celebrated on Wednesday 17 October at the Research Honours Aotearoa event, hosted by Royal Society Te Apārangi  at Te Papa, in Wellington, many with strong links and ties to Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.

Founding Joint Director of NPM Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) received the inaugural Te Puāwaitanga Award from Royal Society Te Apārangi in recognition of the eminent and distinctive contribution she has made to Te Ao Māori, and to Māori and Indigenous knowledge.

This award was gifted to the Royal Society Te Apārangi by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and was one of the nights highest awards - presented to Linda by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy. To read more and view a video of the presentation of the award and Linda's acceptance speech, link here.

NPM Theme Leader and Principal Investigator Dr Mohi Rua (Ngai Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Whakaue), from the University of Waikato, received the inaugural Te Kōpūnui Māori Research Award for his innovative research on poverty, homelessness and Māori men's health which is challenging the relevance of mainstream Anglo-American psychology for Maōri and other indigenous peoples.  His research on Māori men challenges pernicious stereotypes and has shown that they see themselves as being carers, nurturers and positive contributors to their communities Read more here.

Associate Professor Suzanne Pitama (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Whare) has been awarded the Metge Medal by Royal Society Te Apārangi for her influence on Indigenous health education. Based at the University of Otago, Christchurch, she has made a considerable contribution to inspiring and developing new research capacity and knowledge for health professional education to address critical Indigenous health inequities in Aotearoa. She has designed, developed and evaluated entirely new Māori health models applicable to clinical practice. Read more about Suzanne's work and award here.

Dr Arini Loader (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Whānau-a-Apanui), Victoria University of Wellington, has been awarded the inaugural Te Kōpūnui Māori Research Award for pushing the boundaries of Māori Studies by incorporating history, te reo Māori and literary studies into her research. She has been unlocking the context behind historical texts written in te reo Māori and in doing so giving us a better understanding of 19th Century Māori society and our history. Find out more here.

Dr Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu), Victoria University of Wellington, has received the Early Career Research Excellence Award for Humanities for his ground-breaking book New Treaty, New Tradition. It reveals new ways of using Indigenous knowledge to understand how law shapes society. Each chapter begins with a dialogue between a Māori father and his son, which gives the reader a personal, living introduction to Māori legal traditions. Overall it demonstrates the continuity between Māori history and contemporary Māori life, and brings home the dynamic vitality of Māori legal traditions in Aotearoa today. Read more about Carwyn and his work here.

The Health Research Council of New Zealand introduced a new award this year, Te Tohu Rapuora, to recognise a significant contribution to Māori health excellence and leadership. The inaugural winner was the Te Kotahi Research Institute of the University of Waikato. This award recognises the leadership and commitment shown by Te Kotahi Research Institute in advancing Māori health research, knowledge, and wellbeing by working closely with iwi, hapu and other Māori health stakeholders. Its research leaders are widely known and respected for their Kaupapa Māori collaborations and for building the capacity and capability of the Māori health research workforce.