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Unitec/MT 2021 Rangahau Horonuku Hu/New Research Landscapes Symposium gathers researchers from across the sector

The Unitec/MT 2021 Rangahau Horonuku Hu/New Research Landscapes Symposium is bringing together researchers from 13 institutions and research centres across New Zealand this week.

Although initially planned as an on-site event, it was quickly pivoted online after Auckland’s Covid lockdown in August. However, interest in the event has remained strong with more than 400 registrations for the two-day event that will feature speakers, presentations and an undergraduate poster competition from a wide range of research disciplines.

The aim of the event is to connect researchers, foster research collaboration between ITPs, industry and community, and disseminate quality, industry and community partnered research, says Marcus Williams, Unitec’s Director – Research and Enterprise.

“The theme was suggested by Dr Cat Mitchell, a researcher in Ngā Wai a te Tui and valued member of the Symposium Steering Committee, which has Unitec and MIT members,” he says.

“Then Mātua Hare Paniora gifted the name; Rangahau Horonuku Hou; New Research Landscapes. I thought this was fabulous because for research communities and academia in general, change is the future. 

“Issues like climate change require innovative transdisciplinary research approaches, which are impeded by intransigent institutional bureaucracies and thrive on well-networked, problem-based collaborative practice. 

“The lack of diversity and equity of opportunity in and for the research workforce, especially in leadership, requires urgent attention. The need to recognise different ways of knowing, indigenous ways of knowing, Māori and Pacific world views, this is hugely important.

“The need for researchers to partner with the stakeholders involved in research, including our students, is becoming an imperative that can no longer be ignored. 

The exciting thing is that these inexorable forces of change create enormous opportunities for our sector. Alongside the disruptions and challenges of Te Pūkenga, comes the possibility of leading some of these changes through a highly collaborative, nationally networked organisation which is close to its communities and industries, less encumbered with embedded hierarchies, and more agile.”

Key-note speakers include researchers from Unitec, MIT The University of Auckland, Ngā Wai a te Tūī; Māori and Indigenous Research Centre, Southland Institute of Technology (SIT) and Northtec.

 The proceedings will be published before the end of 2022. Unitec ePress is an open-source, online publisher of peer-reviewed, quality-assured academic work.

Read more about the event here.