This article provides insights into the ethnicity of academics employed by Aotearoa New Zealand’s eight universities, with a particular focus on Māori academics. We show that, despite values espoused by universities in terms of diversity and within their equity policies regarding Māori staff, there has been no progress in increasing the Māori academic workforce. Māori academics were severely under-represented at universities between 2012 and 2017, comprising approximately 5% of the total academic workforce.
When considering higher education, the voices and experiences of minority researchers are often absent. Within educational research, in particular, the voices and cultural realities of minority teachers are rarely valued and are often ignored. This paper is my attempt to “be heard”, particularly in relation to the education of Tongan males in Aotearoa. I am a Tongan teacher–researcher, and, through the autoethnographical approach, I have discovered a way to tell my story and, in doing so, legitimise my knowledge.