16 March, 2022
Dr Pauline Harris, from Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaaka and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa, has been appointed to the new position of MacDiarmid Institute Deputy Director Māori.
Professor Gaston said that Dr Harris had played a key role within the Institute since she joined in 2018, advising and directing the Institute on Te Ao Māori.
“Pauline already plays a critical role within the Institute. She leads our Mātauranga Māori Research Programme, and developed our successful Discovery Scholarship programme for undergraduate Māori and Pasifika students.”
Professor Hodgkiss acknowledged the significant part Dr Harris already played within the Institute as well as in many other organisations, and the expertise and connections she brought to the Institute.
“Pauline leads within the Institute all our engagement with Māori, including with our partners and friends at Whakarewarewa Village in Rotorua. She also played a central role in our successful rebid, bringing her connections and vision to the rebid planning and playing a key part in our presentation to the Royal Society CoRE selection panel in 2020.”
MacDiarmid Institute Governance Board Chair Hēmi Rolleston said he was excited about Dr Harris’ appointment, and the skills and credibility in Te Ao Māori that she brought to the Institute.
Pauline’s appointment to this new role is a further signal of our pathway and commitment as an Institute to Te Ao Māori, with much more to come.Hēmi Rolleston MacDiarmid Institute Governance Board Chair General Manager Te Ao Māori and Science Services Scion
Dr Harris said she was looking forward to working with her colleagues in the Institute to increase the capacity and capability of Māori and Pasifika peoples, and uplifting the capability of the Institute as a whole to engage with Māori communities.
I want Māori and Pasifika peoples to be fully engaged in our research, aims and aspirations. This will be a team effort from the MacDiarmid Institute and I look forward to working within the Institute to fulfil this vision.Dr Pauline Harris MacDiarmid Institute Deputy Director Māori Senior Lecturer Victoria University of Wellington
As Deputy Director Māori, Dr Harris will sit on the Institute’s Governance Board as well as its Science Executive committee, and will also continue to lead the Institute’s Mātauranga Māori Research Programme.
She will have responsibility for all Māori stakeholders and will work closely with the Deputy Director Commercialisation and Industry Engagement and the Deputy Director Outreach and Education to assist the Co-Directors and the MacDiarmid Institute to deliver the vision of the MacDiarmid Institute.
Dr Pauline Harris is a lecturer in the Faculty of Science at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, where she lectures in the Science and Society programme on Mātauranga Māori, science communication and the importance of energy in society. She is a Group Member of the government’s Matariki Advisory Group and is the Vision Mātauranga Theme Leader with Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI) National Science Challenge.
Dr Harris has a background in cosmology, neutrino astrophysics, microlensing and Māori astronomy. She has been the Chairperson of the Society of Māori Astronomy Research and Traditions (SMART) for over ten years, where she applied her physics expertise to the collation and the revitalisation of Māori astronomical star lore.