This latest report put out by MOTU, an economic and public research institute based in New Zealand, titled;
‘Indigenous Belief in a Just World: New Zealand Māori and other Ethnicities Compared’
basically tells us that Indigenous Maori values are holding us back from being successful. Which is of course, a load of rubbish. Associate Professor Leonie Pihama has slammed the report saying it is flawed on multiple grounds. And she raises some really relevant points, that we as indigenous researchers are already schooled to be on the alert for.
- The white male lens
- Lack of cultural knowledge and understanding
- Simplistic overstatements
and my favorite
4. being compared against black Americans (whaaat the???)
While she speaks of the technical flaws of their research, what I find the most puzzling is ‘the why’? Why would three non-Māori, white males take up this topic of research? Why do they write about us, and not with us? This is absolutely bewildering to me.
As I develop myself into a research academic, I constantly question myself, who do I want to be as a researcher, what do I want my research identity to be and what type of research will I undertake. Obviously I have an interest in indigenous research (being indigenous) and I believe more attention to our economic development can help our communities. So, my heart is fully invested in indigenous business research. My research work ties me to my whanau, whakapapa and whenua. I am connected and bonded to these kaupapa.
Why did they take up this research? To tell us we are flawed? To fill a research gap? To get publications or points on the board? Because from how I read it, their heart is not invested.
So my question is to the three co-authors Arthur Grimes, Robert MacCulloch and Fraser McKay….why?
Update – 29th October 2015
So as it turns out, one of the researchers on this report is Maori. Which probably makes the situation worse. Of course the readers cant tell this because his whakapapa has not been acknowledged in the report.