Kua hauhaketia te kai
The crops are now harvested

Pou Matarua update
Kaupapa Matua: Climate Change
Rangahau: Borrin Foundation
Kāhui Ārahi: Ocean Mercier
Kanapu: Update
Ngā Manaakitanga: Opportunities
Hui | Events | Conferences | Workshops


February has been a devastating month for whānau and communities, with the flooding in Northland and Auckland, and then Cyclone Gabrielle. We are grateful that the NPM secretariat was not directly impacted by Gabrielle. However, it was a very tense and worrying time for those with whānau in the hardest hit areas, particularly the East Coast, Hawkes Bay and Northland.
The loss of power and communication, and the inability to reach loved ones for many days, was particularly hard. Our aroha goes out to all of those whānau, marae and communities who have lost loved ones and livelihoods, and are now getting on with the momentous task of rebuilding.

Climate change has long been a key kaupapa for NPM, with recent initiatives including the publication of He Huringa Āhurangi, He Huringa Ao: A changing climate, a changing world and the upcoming International Indigenous Climate Change Research Summit in November.  Much of our research and activities have focused on collective responses to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and community-driven solutions. In this e-pānui we talk to NPM senior researcher Dr Shaun Awatere about some of the shifts that we will collectively need to make to adapt to climate change now and in the future.  

We are also grateful for the collective heartiness of Te Ao Māori and the ways that it comes to the fore when we need it most - such was the case with Te Matatini. The cultural extravaganza provided a much needed wairua boost for us all. The NPM secretariat and our Raumati Interns perfected the art of multitasking over the four days of the festival. The odd meeting may have been cancelled, and those of us who were tied to the office had multiple screens in action as we kept an eye out for our favourite groups.  Our NPM Pou Tikanga Paora Sharples made numerous appearances, including media interviews. We want to acknowledge the outstanding work of Paora and the organising committee of Te Matatini for bringing such joy to the motu at such a difficult time. And a hearty congratulations to the overall winner, Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau a Apanui.

As the festival catchcry goes, Proud to be Māori! 


Ngā Pou Matarua | Co-Directors
  • Professor Tahu Kukutai
  • Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora


CAPTION: Gigantic trees have tipped up-side down as a result of climate change, and so must our short-term, individualistic thinking when it comes to tackling this issue, according to Shaun Awatere.
Time to wake-up, rethink, and face

uncomfortable truths

The recent extreme weather events in Te Ika a Māui will take decades to recover from. For some, the impacts will leave emotional scarring that will last a lifetime. While most of us have some understanding of climate change as a global problem, we were unprepared for how powerful and violent the impacts were on communities and whenua. Perhaps we thought it would be more gradual, less dramatic. That whakaaro has changed. 

Now we must ask uncomfortable questions about what we can do, as uri, as whānau, as kaitiaki of our whenua and taonga. We talked to NPM Kāhui Ārahi (senior leadership team) member Shaun Awatere about what it will take for people to start changing their behaviours regarding climate change action.

Shaun believes that while most people acknowledge climate change is a reality, most of us will not change our behaviour unless we are directly impacted. “If you are needing to re-locate and find an alternative place to live, that’s a direct impact of climate change and you are going to have to change your behaviour. However, recent events cannot be called a wake-up call, unless we actually wake-up,” he says.

“It’s a society wide issue and until we all decide to change in terms of how we farm our whenua, change how we get to work, visit other countries using emission producing jets, then it is going to be business as usual for most people,” he says.

As Te Tiriti partners, Māori can expect to be part of conversations around solutions going forward, but he says, there will need to be some hard conversations around relocating communities and special places such as marae and wāhi tapu.

“The conversation around relocation will be a difficult one because people have often thought that there is a timelessness and enduring nature of some of our taonga but from a historical perspective, in terms of how our tūpuna were flexible and adaptive, that provides us with signposts for how we move forward and navigate some of these tricky issues with respect to relocation of taonga and assets.”

He says it’s important not to be fixed on a particular mindset when finding solutions.“It really requires local and community leadership to help whānau, hapū and iwi to find a place where there is a resolution in terms of a decision that’s going to be of benefit, not only now, but for future generations. People tend to get a bit tunnel visioned in terms of some of the tapu nature of things and that is a roadblock for people who don’t necessarily understand the practical implications of those decisions.”
He says it’s a society wide issue and the problems of climate change can be traced back to the individualistic nature of most Westernized societies where profit for business owners and their shareholders has been prioritized over community wealth and social investment.

“It’s very short-term. That’s where a lot of the right-wing conservative narrative is focused, and we need to shift away to more of a society-wide, collective approach to managing some of these more complex problems with respect to climate change.”

Until these bedrock issues are addressed, he believes our government and therefore our communities are “managing at the margins and just using paper straws.”
Shaun says Crown Research Institutes and Universities have a role to play providing options and advice for climate change adaptation, “however society as a whole needs to make those changes, that includes public institutions and businesses.”


The Borrin Foundation partnership with NPM supports Māori legal postgraduate study that upholds the shared values of a just, tolerant, inclusive and free Aotearoa. This year five wāhine Māori are the recipients of this year’s Borrin Foundation | Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Postgraduate Scholarships. Usually, a pool of $80,000 is made available annually for one of two scholarships. This year, however, the applicants were so outstanding that the Borrin Foundation awarded five scholarships worth $320,000. Congratulations to these phenomenal wāhine!

This year’s Borrin Foundation | NPM Postgraduate Scholars are:

Yasmin Olsen (Ngāpuhi (Te Ihutai), Te Rarawa, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Tīpā) who received $80,000 to pursue an LLM in the USA. Yasmin hopes to play a part in criminal justice reform to develop a system that better serves wāhine Māori, as both victims and defendants.

Holly Reynolds (Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto) who received $80,000 to pursue an LLM in the USA. Holly is working towards a career in academia where she hopes to contribute towards transformative change that dismantles carceral states and promotes Indigenous autonomy and self-determination.

Rachael Evans (Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Pamoana, pākehā) who received $80,000 to pursue a PhD in Law at the
University of Canterbury. Rachael’s PhD will investigate how iwi can fully exercise their rangatiratanga outside of a reliance on Crown funds, through fiscal and regulatory authority.

Gabriella Makerita Hinetu Brayne (Ngāti Maniapoto, Falefā) who received $40,000 to pursue a Masters of Indigenous Law and Policy at the
University of Arizona, USA. Gabriella hopes to return to Aotearoa to work in community law, supporting whānau to navigate the welfare and justice system.


Maryann Panoho (Ngāpuhi) who received $40,000 to pursue a Masters of Indigenous Law and Policy at the
University of Arizona, USA. Maryann wants to work towards ensuring Aotearoa is a safe place for all and that the law reflects that vision by taking a transformative approach to justice and change.


The Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation was established by their son, Ian Borrin who dedicated his life to the law after graduating from Victoria University. His father, Michael immigrated to New Zealand in 1933 and set up a successful manufacturing business making handkerchiefs, ties and other kākahu. His fianceé, Suzanne Krynski followed him to Wellington from Poland and the Jewish couple settled in Karori where their only son, Ian was born.

During WWII, many in the couple’s whānau lost their lives in death camps and the tragedy left Michael and Suzzanne with immense gratitude to Aotearoa for providing them with safe refuge. As a result they wished to contribute back to their adopted home and they gave generously to many philanthropic causes.

Suzanne Borrin died before seeing her son graduate from university, and Michael died in 1981. However, Ian kept the family business going (despite its marginal profitability at times) because he regarded the employees as family. Upon graduation from Victoria University, Ian progressed from a practicing lawyer, to a Family Court Judge, and then to the head of the Police Complaints Authority.
Judge Borrin had a passionate belief that the law should be a force for good. Upon his death in March 2016, he left a bequest of $38M to establish the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation in honour of his parents, and to reflect his family’s deep gratitude and commitment to Aotearoa.

Rangahau - Kōrero with Associate Professor Ocean Mercier

Each month we feature a member of our NPM Kāhui Ārahi- Research Leadership Team in our E-pānui.  This month we talked with Associate Professor Ocean Mercier who is Pou Pae Tawhiti - Living Lightly.

Ko wai tō ingoa, nō whea koe?

Ko Ocean Mercier tōku ingoa. Nō Ngāti Porou ahau. Ko tōku whaea ko Hine Hou Taiapa; ko ōku kaumatua ko Hone Heke Taiapa rāua ko Paku Waitai Pokai. I tipu ake au ki Te Whanganui a Tara

Can you give us a little glimpse into a ‘day in the life’ of Ocean?
Every day of the week is different. Tuesday I might be giving a lecture, workshop or a seminar. Wednesday, I could be in discussion with the Ministry for the Environment or UNESCO. What's keeping me quite busy lately is supervising PhDs and Masters, as well as advising an 'Ocean's 11' of Research Associates and Assistants, mostly doing BioHeritage and Predator Free 2050 mahi. We want to support native biodiversity by investigating new ways to remove barriers to our taonga thriving, specifically introduced pests. I enjoy supporting my tauira and RAs to come up with their own ideas and strategies to achieve this. So on any given day I might be: linking them to a topic they'll enjoy or learn from; sorting their contracts and scholarships; reading through and helping them sharpen and communicate their ideas; and discussing the significance of their research over cuppa's and kai. I am also collaborating with Indigenous researchers on a special issue of Ethical Space so there's a lot of proofreading in my day-to-day! I try to keep Friday as a deep focus and writing day - or the start of a long weekend hikoi in the hills. Any day I'm working from home I go for a jog or a walk, often with my WFH husband. The exercise gives us a chance to chat about ideas and is great training for our passion of orienteering. 

What excites you about leading out Pou Pātai Tāwhiti?

It's in the name. For two decades Ngā Pae has been keeping eyes on current and future horizons - present challenges and coming opportunities. In true tangatawhenua style, 'Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga' is not just visionary, but a visionary way of being visionary! I see pae tawhiti 'living lightly' in two ways: how we as Māori can be empowered to (re)connect with planet Papatūānuku, and how we can lead Aotearoa NZ into the future. That's pretty exciting to think about Indigenous-led sustainable and regenerative futures, and doing what's

needed now in research to move towards those Pae Tawhiti and make them pae tata, or present realities.

Our NPM vision is flourishing Māori futures. What does that mean for you?

It's been inspiring to work alongside the Kāhui Ārahi and to hear their aspirations and ideas for flourishing. Futures without obstructions such as alienation from our own whenua, lack of resources, inequities, racism. Futures where the 'weeds and pests' have been dealt to and our people can focus on knowing, growing and being ourselves. 
Lastly, if you could be a manu Māori/NZ Native Bird which one would you choose and why?

I was in Antarctica for the 2002 University of Waikato Te Amorangi Māori Academic Excellence Awards, so I pre-recorded my acceptance speech alongside a giant inflatable king emperor penguin. The association stuck, and a stencilled hoiho or yellow-eyed penguin was on my office door for years. However, seeing as how my whanaunga Shaun Awatere bags'ed the hoiho, mō tana surfing prowess, I'll instead nominate the tokoraki or king penguin. They waddle around gawkily and make the best of things on land. But get them in their natural element, the snow or swimming in the moana, and they thrive! 


Extreme weather events and the wrath of cyclone Gabrielle has affected our people across the motu. For some of our whānau and hapori they are still cut off, others are homeless and the clean up and recovery will take many months, years and decades. Kia kaha koutou! Against this backdrop Kanapu has moved Hui Hihiri to April 26 and 27, 2023. 

Hui Hihiri - Kanapu National Online Wānanga is a place to bring Māori together in a virtual whare. It is a place for our traditional knowledge holders, practitioners, researchers, scientists and our innovators to gather and foster spontaneous energy, grow connections and be inspired. Hui Hihiri is an opportunity to share, and hear first-hand from our people about their mahi and aspirations across the RSI sector. Importantly is also a place to kōrero and share how we might build a vibrant Māori workforce. We need to ask ourselves, what should this look like? 

Whether you work with your whānau, hapū, iwi or are in Crown organisations, don gumboots or lab coats everyday, just getting started or smashing through glass ceilings, he mātanga o tōu iwi, hapū rāni, kei te kimi hononga tonu ki tōu hapori Māori, this online wānanga invites you to share your experiences, aspirations and challenges.

Please click this link to add the calendar invite and receive updates to Hui Hihiri. 


Matakitenga Research Fund

NPM is inviting applications for funding to our contestable Matakitenga Research Fund. If you are a Māori researcher employed at any NPM partner entity, you are eligible to apply. The fund supports impactful research that will contribute to our vision of building the foundations for flourishing Māori futures. All inquiries to:
Applications close: 5pm, 31st March, 2023

The Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation

The next round of applications for Borrin Foundation will open on 1 March 2023. This will be the inaugural round for the Borrin Foundation Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship. Applications will also be open for the Borrin Foundation Women Leaders in Law Fellowship, the Borrin Foundation Community Law Fellowship and Travel and Learning Awards.

Applications close: 3 April, 2023

Fulbright-Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Graduate Award

The Fulbright-Ngā Pae o Māramatanga Graduate Award is now open for applications. The scholarship is for a promising Aotearoa graduate student to undertake postgraduate study or research at a US institution in the field of Indigenous development. One award valued at up to $40,000 (plus $4,000 travel funding) is granted annually for up to one year of study or research in the US. The award is available for study or research that fits within and contributes to the NPM Research Programme and NPM’s priorities and themes. The graduate awards can be used towards a Masters or PhD programme.
For more information:
Applications close: 1 August, 2023.

PhD Scholarship | Biochemistry/Structural Biology

The University of Waikato is offering a PhD scholarship for an applicant who has a BSc (Hons) or MSc in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, or a similar discipline. The successful candidate will work with the Cellular/Molecular group at the University of Waikato, with the opportunity to undertake research exchanges with the group’s collaborators at Cardiff University.
For more information, see:

PhD Scholarship | Molecular Biology/Microbiology

The University of Waikato is also offering a PhD Scholarship for an applicant who has a BSc (Hons) or MSc in Molecular Biology, Microbiology or a similar discipline. The successful candidate will work with the Cellular/Molecular group at the University of Waikato, and with its wider trans-disciplinary team at the School of Management (Waikato) and the School of Science (Canterbury University). For more information, see:




New date for Hui Hihiri - Kanapu National Online Wānanga which will now be held on 26 & 27 April, 2023. 

Please click this link to add the calendar invite and receive updates to Hui Hihiri.  

Kāti rā ngā kōrero mō tēnei wā,

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga | New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence
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