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Fresh take on Maori history a winner for Harris.
Dr Aroha Harris ©

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Academic and Waitangi Tribunal member Aroha Harris is the first recipient of the Royal Society's Te Aparangi Early Career Researcher Award in Humanities.

The award is for the Auckland University senior lecturer's substantial contributions to Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, which she wrote with the late Dame Judith Binney and Athol Anderson.

The award selection committee says rather than following other histories in focusing on Maori political struggles and Maori-Crown relationships, Dr Harris provided new insights into lived reality for Maori, emphasizing the creativity, resilience and agency of Maori communities in the face of significant sociocultural and economic challenges such as racism and poverty.

Dr Harris was lead author of the book’s final 135-page section, Te Ao Hurihuri: The Changing World, which explores the sociocultural history of twentieth-century Maori.

These four chapters reveal the significant economic and sociocultural challenges that Maori experienced by telling local stories that illustrate and emphasize Maori resilience and creativity.


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