Māori and Pacific students are not achieving in science in comparison with other ethnic groups in Aotearoa New Zealand. At the same time, evidence of engagement with their traditional ways of knowing and being in university science settings is limited. Most formal science curricula globally are founded on Western modern science, and this focus can contribute to the underachievement of Indigenous students in science, particularly if Indigenous knowledge is not included (Howlett et al., 2008).
This paper examines the ethnicity of academic scholars employed by New Zealand’s eight universities, with a particular focus on Pasifika academics. The paper discusses how, despite national and university policies to see education serve Pasifika peoples better, there has been no change in the numbers of Pasifika academics employed by the universities between 2012 and 2017, and notes that Pasifika who are in the academy are continually employed in the lower, less secure levels of the academy.
This article presents the findings from a 2014 nationwide online survey conducted with Māori and Pacific teachers working in Māori and Pacific early childhood services and language nests. The paper emphasizes that key to educational success for Māori and Pasifika children is the acknowledgement that they are culturally located and the recognition that effective education must embrace culture.