Research fund changes rules to boost Maori academics

The New Zealand government has changed the rules of its main research fund for tertiary institutions to tackle long-standing under-representation of Maori and Pacific researchers, reports John Gerritsen for Radio New Zealand.

The NZ$315 million (US$220 million) a year Performance Based Research Fund will reward work by Maori researchers at 2.5 times the rate of non-Maori academics, while Pasifika academics’ work will be funded at two times the non-Pasifika rate. It will also give research into Maori knowledge a funding weighting higher than the current rate of 2.5 which applies to the most expensive sciences.

University of Auckland sociology lecturer specialising in higher education, Dr Sereana Naepi, said the change had huge potential to redress the under-representation of Maori and Pasifika academics. “What we’re hoping for is that these changes will result in universities making the structural changes that are needed to ensure that they can address the inequities that are currently embedded in the system,” she said.
Full report on the RNZ site