Three new professors announced

22 July 2022

The three newest professors for University of Waikato: Professor Tom Roa, Professor Sandy Morrison and Professor Kura Paul-Burke

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley today shared the appointment of some distinguished academic staff to the role of Professor.

"As we continue work to weave mātauranga Māori into the heart of our research and teaching, I am confident our new Professors will help provide the vision and leadership we need to maintain momentum,"  Professor Quigley says.

"Please join me in congratulating them all."

Professor Tom Roa

Professor Tom Roa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato) is the University of Waikato’s Te Mata Ahurangi (Tikanga Advisor). He is a leading figure in the revitalisation of te reo Māori and was one of the founders of the Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori movement in the 1970s.

Professor Roa’s research interests are translation and interpretation between te reo Māori and English, the Kīngitanga, and Waikato-Maniapoto oral and written history and traditions. His work in revitalising te reo Māori also extends to addressing other languages in our environment and he has been instrumental in the development of the NZ history curriculum in schools.

Professor Sandra (Sandy) Morrison

Professor Sandy Morrison (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Rarua, Te Arawa) centres her research on climate change, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, adult education and Indigenous development.

She leads Te Tai Uka a Pia (iwi relationships with the Southern and Antarctic Oceans), a project in the Vision Mātauranga programme of The Deep South National Science Challenge, and was also part of the Culture and Climate Change project. She is the Vision Mātauranga lead for the Deep South Challenge: Changing with our climate, and is a steering group member of the Antarctic Science Platform.

She has also held global roles in adult education, advocating for the right of all adults to education and lifelong learning, and was inducted into the International Adult and Community Education Hall of Fame by the University of Oklahoma in 2009.

Professor Morrison will also continue in her role as Acting Dean of Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao.

Professor Kura Paul-Burke

Professor Kura Paul-Burke (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakahemo) has been appointed to a role as Professor in Mātai Moana (Marine Research) in Te Aka Mātuatua School of Science and Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao.

Professor Paul-Burke has extensive pragmatic experience combining mātauranga Māori and western science to assist kaitiakitanga (restoration, monitoring, management) priorities and futures of marine coastal reefs and estuaries.

Using local knowledge and resources alongside western tools, Professor Paul-Burke facilitates co-developed management action plans to assist informed decision-making for taonga (culturally important) species, such as shellfish in Ōhiwa Harbour and tuna (eel) in the Rangitāiki River catchment.

Her award-winning methodologies and techniques actively seek to normalise mātauranga Māori in marine science.

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