Saturday, April 20, 2024

Māori research retention funding announced

The Government has announced $6.5 million in funding for a programme to grow and retain the numbers of Māori working in the research, science and innovation workforce.

“Growing a research workforce where the perspectives and expertise of Māori are well represented is a key part of ensuring we have a thriving and talented workforce to meet the opportunities and challenges of today and the future,” said Research, Science and Innovation Minister, Ayesha Verrall.

She said Māori researchers at the beginning of their careers in research institutes were often under pressure to work two roles – their research role and additionally, a frequently unpaid role to provide cultural leadership.

“With few Māori research mentors to guide them through these unique and added pressures, Māori researchers can experience burn-out and leave the research workforce,” the Minister said.

The Māori-led programme, named Kanapu, is set to develop a suite of initiatives to connect and retain Māori talent in the research workforce, aiming to grow the numbers of Māori in it and help address the unique pressures they face.

“Kanapu, means ‘lightning’ or ‘instantaneous glow’ and it will create programmes that connect Māori researchers across research institutions, including those in iwi and hapū communities. It will help Māori researchers at different career stages to flourish through mentoring and training initiatives.”

“We are seeing more opportunities where mātauranga Māori experts can contribute distinct thinking on issues such as climate change. Kanapu will help to retain and expand these skills, and will build a strong foundation for the future of research and innovation,” said Dr Verrall.

Kanapu is funded out of the initiative ‘Expanding the Impact of Vision Mātauranga’, from Budget 2020, where $33 million was allocated towards attracting and growing Māori talent in the research, science and innovation sector.

“This enables Māori to better navigate and participate in the research system,” the Minister said.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides this funding.

The programme will be designed and delivered by New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga at the University of Auckland (pictured) and be supported by a team based at Te Ngira: Institute for Population Research, University of Waikato.

The team has been assembled alongside Professor Tahu Kukutai, Co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.

“Importantly, Kanapu will draw on the rich mātauranga Māori expertise at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga to create the programme. It will create Māori values-based leadership training, provide culturally relevant professional coaching for mentors, and facilitate wānanga for Māori researchers on areas at the interface of mātauranga Māori and the research, science and innovation sector,” the Minister said.

“Kanapu is a further way the Government is strengthening the benefits that Māori knowledge, culture, values and worldview bring to the research system. This initiative will enhance the employment outcomes of Māori in the research workforce, and will benefit the whole research workforce,” she said.

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