The Pakaru ‘Pipeline’: Māori and Pasifika Pathways within the Academy

We examine the academic ‘pipeline’ for Māori and Pasifika graduates and illustrate the chronic under-representation of Māori and Pasifika in permanent academic positions in New Zealand universities. We identify areas within higher education where significant opportunities are being lost for the recruitment and retention of Māori and Pasifika. The narratives of Māori and Pasifika post-doctoral researchers, research associates and professional teaching fellows provide further insight into the advantages and disadvantages of these positions. Lastly, we propose a Pacific alternative metaphor ‘Pacific Navigation of Academic Pathways’ based on Pacific navigation, as opposed to the more commonly used term ‘pipeline’, in order to capture the nuances of Pasifika and Māori experiences.