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Global backlash to Waikato cuts

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The organiser of an open letter supporting embattled Māori academics at the University of Waikato says the response shows the esteem our indigenous scholars are held in around the world.

Dr Sereana Naepi, a lecturer in sociology and criminology at the University of Auckland, says within three days of her and three Māori and Pacific colleagues posting the letter on Twitter it has been signed by almost 7000 academics here and overseas.

She says from her experience studying and teaching in Canada she saw how Waikato professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples is a staple of every indigenous studies course.

"Aotearoa is seen as this place you come to to learn about how to do this research or how to engage with a western institution from an indigenous lens. When the international indigenous research community saw Waikato University wasn't treating Māori academics the way they expected them to be treated, there was a genuine outcry because of how much the indigenous academics in Aotearoa mean to the international community," Dr Naepi says.

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