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New funding pathway launched for kaupapa Māori educational research

The Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) funds research projects that aim to improve outcomes for learners. Today, the TLRI launched Whatua tū aka, a new pathway to encourage more kaupapa Māori educational research.

Whatua tū aka, which was developed in collaboration with a TLRI Māori advisory group, seeks to improve equity for Māori learners by supporting kaupapa Māori educational research and building kaupapa Māori research capability.

The TLRI is funded by the New Zealand Government and administered by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER). Sheridan McKinley, NZCER’s Kaiwhakahaere Māori has overseen the development of the new kaupapa Māori funding pathway.

‘Whatua tū aka is an exciting new funding pathway that invites applications from researchers who want to work with kaiako, ākonga, whānau, hapū, iwi, and hapori to weave new knowledge.’ Ms McKinley said.

Huia Jahnke, Professor of Māori and Indigenous Education at Massey University, and a TLRI Advisory Board member has contributed significantly to the new funding pathway’s development.

‘We hope the launch of Whatua tū aka will raise the profile of the TLRI with kaupapa Māori researchers. Our goal is to fund research that has a transformative impact on the educational experiences of Māori,’ said Professor Jahnke.

Applications for Whatua tū aka and the TLRI’s open funding pathway are due on Tuesday 5 May. This year the TLRI fund is prioritising the following areas:

  • Research on topics of strategic importance within the early years or compulsory school sectors.
  • Research that supports success for Māori learners across all sectors.
  • Research that supports success for Pasifika learners across all sectors.

Further information and guidance about how to apply to the TLRI can be found at

Contact: NZCER Senior Communications and Marketing Adviser, Alice Boultbee Ph: 04 802 1434