Topic: Education

University of Auckland welcomes new Professor of Indigenous Studies

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

The University of Auckland has welcomed a new Professor of Indigenous Studies. Linda Waimarie Nikora (Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāi Tūhoe) who's also the new co-director at Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga (NPM) was officially welcomed at Waipapa marae today.

Linda Nikora has been appointed as Professor of Indigenous Studies at The University of Auckland.

She says, "How can we as a people flourish, not just in terms of health and well-being but education and right across the spectrum in terms of what it means to enjoy a meaningful life."

She was the founding director of Māori and Psychology Research Unit at the University of Waikato.

"I've worked through psychology taking with it a passion to work with our own people and to actually make their lives a little bit better in some form or fashion."

Linda Nikora has also been appointed as co-director for NPM, joining Jacinta Ruru from the University of Otago as co-director.

Chairman of NPM Sir Tipene O'Regan (Ngāi Tahu) says, "Both of these women have an enormous volume of literature of research behind them, they're both quite outstanding teachers and scholars."

Tracey McIntosh (Ngāi Tūhoe) of The University of Auckland says she's the right person for the job.

"Her contribution is going to be significant it's going to be transformative she brings a whole set of skills the way that she is with students in her research area and the way that she is so embedded with her community and with her whānau."

Linda Nikora says relationships with Pākehā are crucial.

"We live our lives in a tauiwi (foreign) environment everyday so working close with Pākehā, with partner institutions is really the keystone of this particular role."

She says the Māori economy, the environment, education and quality of life for Māori are the main areas of focus.