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Learning te reo Māori hook for new professor

Wednesday 12 December 2018 9:29pm

Associate Professor Lachy Paterson.

Learning te reo Māori got one of Otago’s newest professors hooked on the world of academia.

Associate Professor Lachy Paterson, of Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, is one of 17 leading academics from the University’s Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington campuses to be promoted to Professor this year; a further 40 academics are being promoted to Associate Professor level.

Associate Professor Paterson started university as a mature student and enjoyed it so much he carried on into postgraduate research.

“If you are still loving research, then getting an academic job is the next logical step. I was lucky that Māori Studies had relatively few academics with PhDs back then, so when opportunities came up, I was able to go for them,” he says.

Much of his research involves niupepa (Māori-language newspapers) of the mid 19th and early 20th century. Using these, and other sources, he explores the social, political and religious discourses spread by these publications.

"As a Pākehā scholar working within the field of Māori Studies, I am indebted to my colleagues, not just for their manaakitanga, but also for their patience and aroha."

He first got into the research area thanks to Professor John Moorfield, who was looking for a research assistant to undertake linguistic research – searching for loan words in Māori-language newspapers.

“While doing this work, I was also researching the content of these niupepa for my own historical research. There is a huge corpus of niupepa, and because relatively few people work with them, it was a research area that was wide open for me,” Associate Professor Paterson says.

As Māori are tangata whenua, he believes it is important for all New Zealanders to have knowledge about Māori tikanga and history.

“Unfortunately the level of knowledge is sometimes quite low, so it’s really pleasing to increase and enhance what is known, and to be able to pass this on to academic peers, to students, and to the wider public.”

While happy with the promotion to professor, he is also “well aware” of the extra responsibilities it brings, but knows his colleagues will be there to support him.

“As a Pākehā scholar working within the field of Māori Studies, I am indebted to my colleagues, not just for their manaakitanga, but also for their patience and aroha.

“I could not do my work without my friends and workmates in Te Tumu. Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.”

"These promotions highlight the regard with which the individuals, and their work, is held, along with the integrity of their leadership."

In announcing the professorial promotions, Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne commended the new professors, acknowledging their hard work, dedication and ability.

“These promotions highlight the regard with which the individuals, and their work, is held, along with the integrity of their leadership. It also underscores the range of academic talent and expertise across the University of Otago.

“It is wonderful to see people succeeding across disciplines and campuses, with new professors in all four academic divisions from Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington.

"I look forward to following with interest their teaching, research and service achievements in the future,” Professor Hayne says.

Otago’s promotion process involves thorough evaluation of each individual’s record of contributions to research, teaching, and service to the University and community. It also involves input from international experts in evaluating the candidates’ research contributions.

The promotions take effect from 1 February 2019.

Staff promoted to Professor:

Chris Brickell (Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work)
Chris Button (School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences)
James Crowley (Department of Chemistry)
Lisa Ellis (Department of Politics)
Peter Fineran (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
Jeremy Krebs (Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre, University of Otago, Wellington)
Brent Lovelock (Centre for Recreation Research, Department of Tourism)
Brendan McCane (Department of Computer Science)
Alister Neill (Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington)
Lynette Sadleir (Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Otago, Wellington)
Michael Schultz (Department of Medicine (DSM))
Martin Sellbom (Department of Psychology)
Sheila Skeaff (Department of Human Nutrition)
Lois Surgenor (Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch)
Hazel Tucker (Department of Tourism)
Ceri Warnock (Faculty of Law)

Staff promoted to Associate Professor:

Tobias Langlotz (Department of Information Science)
Sara Walton (Department of Management)
Andrea Insch (Department of Marketing)
Leah Watkins (Department of Marketing)
Heather Brooks (Department of Pathology (DSM))
Lianne Parkin (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine (DSM))
Nicola Swain (Department of Psychological Medicine (DSM))
Joanna Williams (Department of Anatomy)
Stephanie Woodley (Department of Anatomy)
Stephanie Hughes (Department of Biochemistry)
Elizabeth Ledgerwood (Department of Biochemistry)
Joanna Kirman (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
Kirk Hamilton (Department of Physiology)
Peter Jones (Department of Physiology)
Alexander Tups (Department of Physiology)
Rebecca Grainger (Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine (UOW) and Medicine (UOW))
Angela Ballantyne (Department of Primary Healthcare and General Practice (UOW))
Maria Stubbe (Department of Primary Healthcare and General Practice (UOW))
Arlene McDowell (School of Pharmacy)
Gisela Sole (School of Physiotherapy)
David Ciccoricco (Department of English and Linguistics)
Thomas McLean (Department of English and Linguistics)
Candler Rogers (Department of English and Linguistics)
Douglas Hill (Department of Geography)
Wayne Stephenson (Department of Geography)
Cecilia Novero (Department of Languages and Cultures)
Hugh Slotten (Department of Media, Film and Communication)
Kay Siang Khoo (Department of Politics)
Susan Sandretto (College of Education)
Miranda Mirosa (Department of Food Sciences)
Mikkel Andersen (Department of Physics)
Tamlin Conner (Department of Psychology)
Gareth Treharne (Department of Psychology)
Lynnette Jones (School of Physical Education, Sport & Exercise Sciences)

Research Associate Professors:

Kirsten Coppell (Department of Medicine (DSM))
Yiwen Zheng (Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology)
Logan Walker (Department of Pathology (UOC))
Jacqueline Keenan (Department of Surgery (UOC))
James Stanley (Dean's Department (UOW))
Ricci Harris (Department of Public Health (UOW))