Mātāmua to head Massey mātauranga Māori graduate programme

By Te Ao - Māori News

Leading Māori astronomer Professor Rangi Mātāmua has accepted a new senior role at Massey University.

He has been appointed as a professor of mātauranga Māori at the university's School of Māori Knowledge, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi.

Mātāmua, an expert in Māori scientific knowledge, astronomy and navigation, will lead the graduate school programme at Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, the university says in a statement.

"This will help us meet the increasing demand from Māori students to write in te reo Māori and engage in mātauranga Māori related projects at the Masters and PhD level," acting head of school Margaret Foster says.

Professor Mātāmua has a long association with Massey and Te Kura Pūkenga Tangata. He gained a doctorate of philosophy (Māori Studies) in 2007 and was a research manager at Te Pūtahi a Toi from 2001–2008.

Professor Huia Jahnke says, “We are delighted that Professor Mātāmua is returning to Te Pūtahi-a-Toi as his appointment will help drive new research, scholarship and endeavour that reaches across the broadest possible span of Mātauranga Māori”.

Mātāmua has won a range of international accolades, is a recipient of the Prime Minister's Science Prize and is a fellow of Te Apārangi, the Royal Society.

He moves to Massey from the University of Waikato, where he was last year one of several academics to complain about structural racism at the institution.