Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
Professor Anne-Maire Jackson image 1 nw

Professor Jackson surrounded by the selection of treasured possessions, artefacts and taonga that have informed and supported her life.

Whanaungatanga was strong and present at Arai Te Uru Marae in Ōtepoti where Professor Anne-Marie Jackson (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu o Whangaroa, Ngāti Wai) recently delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture (IPL).

As the first Otago IPL held on a marae, Kaupapa Māori Professor Jackson’s lecture was both a historical event and a marker for the future. Under the auspices of Puaka and Matariki, Professor Jackson and her whānau were welcomed onto Arai Te Uru Marae, where she and many others addressed a packed wharenui of friends, colleagues and community members who had travelled from across the motu to attend.

Prior to delivering her IPL, Tino Rangatiratanga: A foundation for flourishing wellness, Professor Jackson acknowledged all those, past, present and future, who have informed and inform where she stands today.

Professor Jackson spoke of her Mum – “Māori, hardworking and highly intelligent – a wool classer”. She spoke of her Dad, a Pākehā sheep shearer from Milton. “Working in sheds was how we funded our university studies, saw the back blocks of Aotearoa, and learnt a lot about work ethic, amongst other life lessons.”

“Tonight, I wish to honour our late parents, as we have dedicated this professorship to them, as part of the fulfilment of their aspirations for a good life for us.”

As a Kaupapa Māori scholar, the disciplinary focus of Professor Jackson’s work is applied hauora Māori – or Māori physical education and health. Her research and practice explore te ao Māori (Māori worldview), te Tiriti o Waitangi and kaupapa Māori beneficial for mauri ora, or flourishing health, for the communities she serves.

Professor Jackson’s mahi supporting Indigenous flourishing wellness is both deep and wide, to serve communities and bring others with her. For her, the transformational aspect of research is not just doing mahi for mahi sake. “It’s to seek positive outcomes for whānau, hapu, iwi and marae communities,” Professor Jackson says. “Infinite possibilities exist within communities, and it’s our job to realise them.”

Professor Jackson completed her doctoral thesis at Otago and was one of the first 500 Māori scholars through the vision of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence. From the beginning of her academic journey, she held a firm belief on the importance of academia to serve Māori communities.

She received a national Tertiary Teaching Excellence award in the Kaupapa Māori category by Ako Aotearoa for sustained teaching excellence, as well as the 2020 Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Medal by Otago University in recognition of her outstanding early career research performance.

Professor Jackson was also acknowledged by the Royal Society Te Apārangi with the Te Kōpūnui Māori Research Award for community research forging new knowledge at the interface of mātauranga Māori and Physical Sciences. She believes the key to this success is understanding her own why.

“It’s important I provide leadership as well as capability building for Māori research and researchers by making sure we walk our talk and deliver. For us, the more important evaluation of our work is from those communities whom we work directly with, to ensure we are accountable to them, to our own whānau and to ourselves.”

Professor Anne-Marie Jackson image 2 nw

Friends, colleagues and community members travelled from across the motu to attend the IPL held in the wharenui at Arai Te Uru Marae. Photo: Rewa Pene

Te Koronga

The week of the IPL also coincided with a celebration of ten years of Te Koronga, the Kaupapa Māori research and teaching excellence rōpū co-created by Professor Jackson with the aim to uplift the hopes, aspirations and mauri ora of Māori communities.
Brought to life in 2013 with one student, over the last ten years, Te Koronga has been successfully supporting and producing Māori tauira, graduates and researchers.

Announced at her IPL, Professor Jackson proudly launched the special issue of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga’s MAI Journal – A New Zealand Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, that recognises this tenth anniversary with a dedicated issue of ten published papers authored by Te Koronga tauira and scholars.

Distinguished Professor Jacinta Ruru (Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) refers to Professor Jackson as a trailblazer for Aotearoa and the world, who is creating positive transformational change for the tertiary teaching and research sectors in this country.

“Anne-Marie is creating the lexicon and the literature for base theories and methods and dedicating enormous energy to training and graduating students who have an appreciation of this,” Professor Ruru says.

“Her vision was barely conceivable some short years ago, and it’s simply remarkable all that she has achieved since. We’re right here beside her as she continues to inspire all – her students, colleagues and communities”.

Taking others with her and nurturing the next generation of Kaupapa Māori researchers lies at the heart of Professor Jackson’s mahi. Among these, two new Te Koronga PhD candidates are preparing to return from their communities in Te Ika a Māui to Otago to graduate this week.

Both these graduates embody the vision and practice of Professor Jackson by already making history and creating new paths. As Professor Jackson explains: “We held Otago’s first oral defence at a marae in Ngāti Raukawa with Terina Raureti and her whānau, and a few months later, on board Taiāwhiti Waka, in te Tairāwhiti with Ngahuia Mita and her whānau.”

“We brought these mokopuna home. And now, they live in their places, advancing the various Kaupapa important to their people, as researchers.”

Professor Anne-Marie Jackson image 3 nw

Professor Anne-Marie Jackson delivers her IPL at Arai Te Uru Marae. Photo: Rewa Pene

Centre of Indigenous Science

Born from the success of Te Koronga, Professor Jackson now leads the Centre of Indigenous Science, in which an Indigenous science curriculum for undergraduate and postgraduate students will be created, and strongly grounded in mātauranga Māori and mātauranga o te Moana nui a Kiwa.

"The Centre is one of the first of its kind in Aotearoa and a fantastic opportunity to continue to grow an academic department and scholarship based on ngā kaupapa Māori in sciences.
“This kaupapa is aspirational for our communities and taiohi. There might be a student, kid, or whānau member who sees us, and they can see themselves standing right where we are, to normalise excellence.”

Located in the same whare as the Centre of Indigenous Science is Coastal People: Southern Skies, a Centre of Research Excellence that Professor Jackson also co-leads and was instrumental in bringing to fruition. Guided by a vision of flourishing wellness of coastal communities in the face of contemporary challenges such as climate change, she explains this kaupapa has the potential to make significant social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts for these communities, whilst growing people who can undertake this work.

Congratulating Professor Jackson on her academic achievement as professor, Acting-Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Nicholson reflected on the special occasion of delivering Otago’s first IPL on a marae.

“It’s very fitting that the first IPL is Anne-Marie and it’s wonderful to welcome her whānau, tauira, colleagues and all those who have travelled widely to be here,” Professor Nicholson says.

“To obtain the position of professor it’s important to show leadership and Anne-Marie demonstrates this in an outstanding way through her work and drive to normalising Kaupapa Māori research with a focus on indigenous flourishing and wellness.

“Through her leadership of the Centre of Indigenous Science she continues to attract excellent postgraduate students and is playing an important role in developing the new generation of Māori rangatira.”


Link to Professor Anne-Marie Jackson’s recorded IPL : Tino Rangatiratanga: A foundation for flourishing wellness

Back to top