Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Rethinking Māori academic development in New Zealand universities

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posted on 2021-11-14, 03:28 authored by Hall, Meegan

Indigenous scholars have called for a rethinking of the cultural interface of Indigenous people within the academy. For Māori academics, their culture often has a significant impact on their work, career goals and academic development requirements, yet the academic development literature is largely silent on the needs of Māori academics. Thus, the views of Māori academics could be better reflected in the scholarship and practice of academic developers. This thesis explores the realities of Māori academic staff in New Zealand universities. It presents a literature review about the experiences and preferences of Māori and other Indigenous academics. It also shares three case studies involving seven participants from two different New Zealand universities. The interviews for the case studies were conducted in accordance with kaupapa Māori methodology and using interpretative phenomenological analysis. In addition, this thesis proposes an integrated framework for conceptualising and delivering culturally relevant academic development to Māori academics. Entitled Te Kōtuinga Mātauranga: A Māori Academic Development Framework, it highlights four dimensions that emerged from the case studies and literature as key to Māori academic development: tuakiritanga (identity), pūkengatanga (skills and knowledge), whanaungatanga (relationships) and tikanga (values and practices). It also reflects the holistic nature of Māori academic work and the demand for individual and collective academic development opportunities. The visual portrayal of the framework draws on the traditional Māori weaving style of tāniko. The woven motif serves as a metaphor for both the interconnectedness of the Māori academic development framework and the importance of understanding academic development from an Indigenous viewpoint. Ultimately, this thesis calls for a rethinking of how academic development can be theorised and delivered to centre the cultural aspirations, preferences and practices of Māori academics, and encourages academic developers to be more inclusive in their practice.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Maori Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Maori Studies : Te Kawa a Māui


Mercier, Ocean; Sutherland, Kathryn