Sunday, June 23, 2024

Directors appointed to CT research centre

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern today announced the appointment of Professor Dr Joanna Kidman and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Paul Spoonley as Directors of the newly-launched Centre of Research Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.

The establishment of the National Centre of Research Excellence comes in response to recommendation 14 of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain. The Centre will be hosted by Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, supporting research at many organisations around the country.

“I am pleased to announce Professor Dr Joanna Kidman (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Raukawa) and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Paul Spoonley have been appointed Directors of the Centre to lead that work,” said Ms Ardern.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Paul Spoonley.

“Both Professors are renowned experts in their fields and will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their role as Directors.

“After the tragedy of 15 March it was clear to all New Zealanders that we had to do everything in our power to stop this ever happening again. I believe this Centre will help us to be a more resilient, inclusive and safer Aotearoa New Zealand,” she said.

“He Whenua Taurikura goes beyond the report’s recommendation by establishing a dedicated Centre in addition to directly supporting research,” said Lead Coordination Minister for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques, Andrew Little.

“This Centre will play a key role in bringing together research organisations, civil society, and government to research how to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism, with a focus on understanding diversity and promoting social cohesion”.

Professor Joanna Kidman is a Professor of Māori Education, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) and sociologist with affiliations to Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Raukawa. Her work spans indigenous sociology, Māori youth, higher education, decolonisation studies and comparative education.

Joanna has been appointed for a three-year term.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Paul Spoonley was, until 2019, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Massey University. He retired from the university in April 2021. He has researched and written on social cohesion and diversity, racism, Pākehā identity, demographic change, the far right, white supremacism and antisemitism, immigration policy and settlement.

Paul has been appointed as an interim Director for up to a year, to work alongside Professor Kidman in establishing the Centre.

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