9 July, 2021 

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga applauds changes to Performance Based Research Fund 

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM), Aotearoa New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence supports changes to the Performance Base Research Fund and is calling on tertiary institutions to take bold action to address deep-seated inequities. 

TEC recently announced major changes to the PBRF which funds tertiary organisations based on their performance. The changes will see work by Māori researchers given a 2.5 funding weighting, and a double weighting for Pacific researchers. Research incorporating Māori  knowledge and methodologies will receive a funding weighting of 3.  

NPM sees the changes as critical for recognising the  important contribution of Maori and Pacific researchers , and for encouraging institutions to meet te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. Co-Director Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora says: “the PBRF reforms are an opportunity to really value the talent, excellence and mātauranga we grow here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Māori and Pacific researchers and scholars have always punched above the bar but our systems have failed to recognise this. It’s time for a long overdue change”. 

NPM wants to see greater institutional accountability and transparency to ensure that the funding addresses the shockingly disproportionate numbers of full time Māori (5%) and Pacific (2%) academics in the tertiary workforce. For decades, Māori and Pacific researchers and students have spotlighted the deeply entrenched inequities across the sector and there is a clear evidence base for change. 

Co-Director Professor Tahu Kukutai says the timing is right for tertiary institutions to develop ambitious plans for workforce equity. “We have universities that declare themselves to be Treaty-led or anti-racist. These are laudable sentiments, but the proof is in the action. These changes to PBRF are a very strong signal for universities to convert those words into concrete outcomes”. 

The PBRF allocates $321 million (2021/2022) across the teritary education sector including Universities, Wānanga, and Te Pūkenga, the newly reformed polytechnic sector. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Josie McClutchie – Media & Communications Advisor  


Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) is a Centre of Research Excellence hosted at the University of Auckland comprising 21 research partners and conducting research of relevance to Māori communities. Our vision is Māori leading New Zealand into the future. NPM research realises Māori aspirations for positive engagement in national life, enhances our excellence in Indigenous scholarship and provides solutions to major challenges facing humanity in local and global settings. Visit 

He Kōrero | Our Stories

Neuroscientist Nicole Edwards is establishing her own lab at the University of Auckland and is eager to tautoko students interested in a career in brain research.

AUT senior lecturer Deborah Heke encourages wāhine Māori to cherish their connection with te taiao.

Tairāwhiti local Manu Caddie is a vocal critic of forestry companies engaged in unsustainable land practices in the rohe. He shares his insights on what needs to change.