A key focus of much of our work in recent years has been how to make the structures and institutions of our society more equal and accessible to people.
This work stand on our view that society has privileged particular people, groups, beliefs and practices over others, to help create and maintain social and economic inequalities.
We have come to recognise, in recent years, that forms of colonial privilege still rule in many of our social institutions. Our research in 2020 into postdoctoral fellowships, and Māori wahine in education and employment, showed that in diverse areas of society outcomes continue to be based on structures of race and privilege.
A team headed by Pūkeko Research is currently working towards a range of research programmes on Covid-19 denial, and anti-vax views. Our research position is that such beliefs are rooted in social trends and movements, not a failure of public health messaging.
Some of these movements, especially those that include racial superiority and misogynist beliefs, threaten programmes of systemic change towards a fairer society. Our ‘braided rivers’ research aims to examine how beliefs are formed, moved, extended and linked to each other.
We are focussed on institutional, organisational and individual factors as enablers of, and barriers to, social change.
Our current study of Māori wāhine in the public service, for the Waitangi Tribunal's Mana Wāhine Māori kaupapa claim, reveals that for many participants, racism has been an everyday occurence throughout their lives, often adding barriers in every aspect of daily lives. The effects of racism has delayed education, affected jobs available, limited opportunities for promotion, led to whakama in workplaces, caused additional work in institutions and limited life experiences. Sexism, the impoverishment of whanau and other systemic factors ave also impacted on the live of these women.
Our work in this area will be used to change the structures, systems and vlues of Aotearoa, to transform lives for the future.