Surge in number of Māori PhD graduates at Massey University

There has been a surge in the number of Māori PhD graduates at this year's November graduation for Massey University.

Over a fifth of PhD graduates are Māori scholars with two PhDs written in te reo Māori.

A total of 11 out of 52 PhDs being conferred are by Māori, covering a range of topics such a s science, horticulture, nutrition, the environment, health, education, iwi history, business and sport.

Dr Selwyn Katene, Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori and Pasifika has noted this record number as being, “Highly significant for the graduates and their whānau, and for the nation, as their contribution to Māori advancement is immeasurable.  These 11, together with the other 37 Māori women and men who also graduate on this day, make us very proud.  We also congratulate all graduates and applaud them for their hard work and commitment.”

Doctoral researchers Hinurewa Poutu and Agnes McFarlane bring the number of PhDs in Te Reo Māori by Māori to a total of eight from Massey. Having two PhD thesis in Māori conferred in the same ceremony is a record breaker of the University.

Poutu’s research explored factors that influence teen and youth speakers of Te Reo Māori to use the language beyond school, while Ms McFarlane has researched the oral and contemporary written literature of Tūhoe.