They had an idea at NIDEA – let’s rebrand (they agreed) and give our institute a right royal new name

Young people aspiring to study Indigenous demography and data sovereignty, temporary migration, Pacific health equity and stuff like that might be tempted to check out what happens at an academic establishment called the University of Waikato’s National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis.

They might be steered to the institute’s website by googling “population studies NZ “.  We quickly found it here.

But the clever people who run the institute have decided the institute’s name is too obvious.  Or too functional.  Or too prosaic.. Or too wordy.  Or perhaps too colonialist.

They have gone into the rebranding caper and opted to call the institute  Te Ngira.

A quick check with a Maori dictionary leaves us wondering about the reasoning.

ngira 

      1. (loan) (noun) needle.

“Needle” (if we were to put that on the signage in English) might be good name for a Covid vaccination centre, perhaps.

But for a national institute of demographic and economic analysis?

Hmm.

Maybe not.

But if we do it in te reo – then it’s Te Ngira.

Great. Continue reading “They had an idea at NIDEA – let’s rebrand (they agreed) and give our institute a right royal new name”

Contempt of Parliament question is raised over university’s treatment of professor who warns about China

Malcolm Harbrow has raised a good question on his No Right Turn blog:  have Professor Anne-Marie Brady’s employers committed a contempt of Parliament by gagging her and subjecting her work to a secret review?

Brady’s work has become the subject of an unseemly wrangle among local and overseas academics over the University of Canterbury’s internal review of a paper that claims New Zealand universities and businesses may be helping China’s military ambitions.

Academics named in the paper have complained while other academics have expressed support for Brady.

Dr Catherine Churchman, lecturer in Asian Studies at Victoria University, dipped into the wrangle in a Newsroom article which notes Brady’s likely influence on a shift in New Zealand’s relations with China. Continue reading “Contempt of Parliament question is raised over university’s treatment of professor who warns about China”

Māori Party reports a pandemic of racism – but on close inspection we find only two universities infected (maybe)

Our daily check with the Beehive website draw a blank.  Nothing has been announced there since the PM announced the offender responsible for the Christchurch terror attack on 15 March 2019 has been designated as a terrorist entity.

But elsewhere in our monitoring of the political scene we found the Māori Party is hot and bothered about goings-on in the education domain .  The item was headlined Racism In Education, Second Pandemic In Aotearoa

The Māori Party candidate for Te Tai Tonga, Tākuta Ferris, and Waiariki candidate, Rawiri Waititi, said in the statement they “believe institutional racism within the education system is holding this nation back”.

Ferris raged that:

“This week has highlighted the second pandemic taking hold of this nation, the pandemic of racism in Aotearoa – but particularly in the Aotearoa education system.”  

Oh dear. What shameful acts have given risen to this? Continue reading “Māori Party reports a pandemic of racism – but on close inspection we find only two universities infected (maybe)”

Shhh! The case of a British paedophile who was locked up with women is best not discussed on a Massey campus

The question of what process should be followed before people can change the genders recorded on their birth certificates may well have been discussed on Massey University’s Wellington campus.

Trouble is, a bunch of students with firm ideas on the subject and a militant urge to muzzle contrary ideas staged a sit-in and pressed for the university to cancel the event.

Massey’s administrators – anxious to cocoon sensitive staff and students from information or arguments that might offend or upset them – accordingly advised Speak Up For Women to find an alternative venue for its Feminism 2020 event.

The University has received external advice on its health, safety and wellbeing obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and its duty of care to the University community, and has made the decision on these grounds.

The legal advice we have received is that cancellation of the event, as concluded by the report, is the only way to eliminate the risk to health and safety and to ensure that the University would not be in breach of its health and safety obligations.

Massey University declared itself to be committed to the values of academic freedom, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of expression, “as values that lie at the very heart of the tradition of a university and academic inquiry”. But … Continue reading “Shhh! The case of a British paedophile who was locked up with women is best not discussed on a Massey campus”

It’s a blessing for Massey science teachers and students that an auspicious’ moon was shining over construction site

We are delighted to report the great news reflected in a heading on a news item from Massey University.

It says Auspicious’ moon shines over construction start and appears on an item illustrated by Auckland campus staff, students and construction workers who have gathered for the blessing of the site of a new building.

The moon happened to be moving into a full phase at the time of the ceremony.  According the kaumatua who officiated, this is a good omen for the project.

So what is being built?  A Maori studies centre, where indigenous myths and spiritual beliefs can be taught and questioned?

Nope.  A science centre is the beneficiary of the moon’s serendipitous position in the sky.

This is the site of Massey’s new Innovation Centre at the Auckland campus. Continue reading “It’s a blessing for Massey science teachers and students that an auspicious’ moon was shining over construction site”

The shouting down of Don Brash shows decolonised democracy in action

An organisation which mounted a protest against Don Brash’s participation in the debate at the University of Auckland last night has yet to build a reputation for public service as impressive – or notorious, depending on your point of view – as his.

The organisation is “A New University“.

Point of Order could find no website in that name during a somewhat quick Google search but at Scoop we did found it has issued three press statements in recent months.

The first and third statements carry no names of spokespersons.

The second statement, however, said the organisation is composed of staff, students, and alumni, along with concerned community members. It named Vanessa Harvey as spokesperson. Continue reading “The shouting down of Don Brash shows decolonised democracy in action”

The law requires academic freedom to be preserved and enhanced – but who does the policing?

Whose job is it to check that university authorities comply with the Education Act 1989?

We ask because of the widely reported goings-on at Massey University, which have culminated in students being denied the chance to listen to Don Brash, former Governor of the Reserve Bank, former leader of the National Party, former leader of the ACT Party, and the best known member of Hobson’s Choice.

Section 161 of the Education Act deals with the academic freedom which has been imperilled at Massey.  It says: Continue reading “The law requires academic freedom to be preserved and enhanced – but who does the policing?”