n this situation report, we discuss ways to address current promotional processes that discriminate against Māori and Pacific academics in New Zealand universities. This report follows on from a paper that we published in 2020 showing that Māori and Pacific academics, compared with non-Māori non-Pacific male academics, were significantly less likely to be promoted to the professoriate (associate professor, professor) and earn less, over a 15-year period. These gaps are not explained by research performance (measured by Performance Based Research Fund scores), age or field (e.g., science).
This article has been inspired by “Why Isn’t My Professor Māori?” (McAllister et al., 2019), an article which appeared in this journal and addressed the under-representation of, and inequities facing, Māori academic staff in universities in Aotearoa New Zealand. I present some personal reflections and raise some questions with regard to academics with Māori heritage but who struggle to identify as Māori. I also describe some of the discomfort of being in the “middle ground” of cultural identity and how this has come about, and argue that we need to engage with such troubled identities and histories if we are to decolonise ourselves and our universities.