This paper focuses on recent moves to forge stronger linkages between the Māori social science academy and the policy industry. A critical appraisal of this development is offered, with particular attention given to the desirability of enhancing the academy’s role in the policy process, given the policy industry’s continued privileging of Eurocentric theory and research methodologies within the developing evidence-based environment. The paper ends with a discussion of the possibilities and problems associated with engagement with the policy industry, particularly as these relate to the various roles members can (or are forced to) take; either as ‘insiders’ (such as policy workers and contract researchers), or independent, critical ‘outsiders’. The author concludes that the best that insiders can hope for are incremental, largely ineffective changes to Māori policy, while independent members of the academy are best placed to speak on behalf of Māori, Māori communities, hapu and iwi

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