Diversity, inclusion, wellness, and safety

  • Te Pūnaha Matatini is a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence, recognising and celebrating the distinct status of Māori as tangata whenua, and mmited to upholding the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • We are an inclusive Centre, respectful of difference, valuing the diverse qualities people bring to our work
  • We support workplace wellness through practices and processes that encourage balance, flexible working, and wellbeing
  • We are committed to safety, supporting our people, promoting inclusion, and preventing bullying and discrimination

As a Centre of Research Excellence, we are commited to the open exchange of ideas, the freedom of thought and expression, and respectful debate. These require a community and an environment that recognises the inherent worth of every person and group, that fosters inclusion, dignity, understanding, and mutual respect, and that embraces diversity. From our establishment in 2015, we have been committed to reaching gender parity in our investigator cohort by 2020, with 32% of the founding Principal Investigators being women. In August 2017, including our latest cohort of Associate Investigators, women make up 48% of our researchers. We note the issues with the notion of ‘excellence’ and ‘merit’, and are developing an approach that assesses merit relative to opportunity. Te Pūnaha Matatini has a sponsorship policy for all hosted and sponsored events; and we have an event code of conduct. All Te Pūnaha Matatini investigators and members of the Te Pūnaha Matatini Whānau are expected to be cognisant of the policy and code, and to implement them.

Supporting the distinctive contribution of Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand
We work closely with Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga to support the realisation of the distinctive contribution of Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand. Our Māori and Pasifika internship programme provides funded opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to work on research projects relevant to their communities and develop skills in communicating science and research.

Promoting diversity in science and academia
We have taken a national leadership role in promoting diversity in science and academia. Siouxsie Wiles and Kate Hannah led a national crowd-funding campaign to send copies of Nicola Gaston’s book Why Science is Sexist to people with decision-making power in New Zealand universities and research organisations. Kate Hannah has highlighted the absence of women from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s annual prizes and awards, and this research has led to a number of changes within organisations.We actively promote both organisational and grass roots approaches that lead to intersectional diversity, supporting institutional approaches such as the University of Auckland’s Women in STEMM working group, as well as developing unconscious bias workshops for Te Pūnaha Matatini students and staff.

Workplace wellness
We demonstrate our commitment to workplace wellness through flexible working, containing meetings within school hours, supporting caregiver attendance at our hui and other events, encouraging and holding a variety of different types of team events, and making sure no-one comes to work on their birthday!