SDG #10 Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Highest proportion of Māori students in NZ universities.

Top 60 universities in the world for research on reducing inequalities

Unique toolbox to help students overcome barriers and succeed

We are a distinctive and multicultural University, deeply connected to our heritage and history and committed to realising human potential and promoting social inclusion. We take great pride in the quality of our programmes in Māori and Indigenous Studies and our world-class researchers who bravely address the inequalities that play out in our communities every day in myriad ways, in the quest to create a kinder, fairer world. We understand the power of tertiary education to change the trajectory of people's lives, especially for those who have endured hardship or discrimination. We rise to this challenge in everything we do, remaining focused on removing barriers and giving every student the support they need to succeed.

Some things we're especially proud of

We have a dedicated group of researchers focused on improving health outcomes for transgender people, spearheaded by Dr Jaimie Veale who is a senior lecturer in Psychology.

We support our LGBTIQ+ community to network and support each other through the Rainbow Alliance.

Our student programmes and groups play a vital role in fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness which is especially important during these challenging times.

We were proud to see Dr Laura Haughey's new inclusive theatre work come to fruition. Called Where our Shadows Meet, the performance brought together both deaf and hearing performers for an experience blending multiple languages, including New Zealand Sign Language.

We recently launched a Pacific Plan focused on enhancing the Pacific dimensions of our institution and realising the educational aspirations and success of Pacific learners and staff.

We held two full-day workshops at our Tauranga campus, hosted by the Religious Diversity Centre of New Zealand, aimed at encouraging religious diversity and antidiscrimination.


Our mission to address institutionalised racism

In 2020 the University of Waikato was the subject of a number of claims about racism. While the specific complaints of racism were found to be unwarranted, the report of Hon Hekia Parata and Sir Harawira Gardiner highlighted that as a University founded in settlement history and adhering to western university traditions and cultures, there was indeed structural, systemic and casual discrimination.

We are committed to transformational change and have appointed a Taskforce to spearhead an ambitious programme of work which aims to address the issues at the core of this problem.  Find out more about their work to date and what lies ahead.

Desired diversity under the microscope

'Desired Diversity' under the microscope

Dr Jessica Terruhn is a Research Fellow at the National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis and recently gave an insightful public lecture about diversity in the context of urban development, focused on parts of Auckland.  Her research has shown that diversity is being explicitly mobilised to justify state-led gentrification, satisfying developers but displacing low-income residents in the process.

“In order to attract affluent homebuyers, undesirable ‘low-value’ diversity is eliminated whilst desirable diversity, especially as part of food culture, becomes an asset.”

Improving Indigenous health through genomics

Assistant Professor Maui Hudson has helped develop guidelines to support genome research for indigenous peoples, including Māori, who are often uncomfortable and wary of participating in such activities.  His work showed the importance of transparency, integrity and provenance in dealing with indigenous health data.

“We know if we want to create precision medicines for Indigenous communities, we need population specific reference genomes for Indigenous communities, and that’s what this work is about.”


Researchers join forces to tackle racism in our communities

A group of Waikato researchers received $10m MBIE Endeavour funding in 2020 to pursue their research into racism in Aotearoa. Over the next seven years the Working to End Racial Oppression (WERO) project will examine systems through which racism is reproduced and produce tools to help organisations overcome institutional racism and build relationships in racialised communities. The project is led by Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki, Dr Arama Rata and Professor Francis Collins and more information can be found here.