New mentors to boost Māori aspirations in UC research
Research that benefits Māori helps all New Zealanders, say two Senior Kaiārahi Māori Research Advisors newly appointed at the University of Canterbury (UC).
Senior Kaiārahi Māori Research Advisors Sarah Wiki-Bennett and Tipene Merritt started their roles in the Research and Innovation Office at UC in April.
Their goal as Kaiārahi (guides or mentors) is to boost mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) capability across the university by supporting researchers across colleges and working in partnership with UC’s Ngāi Tahu Research Centre.
As members of the Research and Innovation team, both Kaiārahi are passionate about ensuring Māori academics also receive their support.
Sarah, who was previously Manager for Governance Services at Te Rūnunga o Ngāi Tahu and a former principal at Kirwee Model School, says their focus will be on liaising between mana whenua and UC researchers to support rūnanga aspirations and mātauranga Māori opportunities. Her strong relationships and contacts across the takiwā (region) will help achieve this goal, she says.
“We feel fortunate local mana whenua Ngāi Tūāhuriri has such a strong relationship with the University. Our roles will come down to developing internal and external relationships for Māori and with Māori.