Prestigious honours for Associate Professor Maria Bargh

Maria Bargh winner of the 2020 Te Puāwaitanga award: Self-determination for Māori through political economy and environmental research.

Associate Professor Maria Bargh, from Te Kawa a Māui, has made an outstanding and impactful contribution to research within the university and in collaboration with Māori communities. Two interweaving strands of her work—political economy and environment—contribute to self-determination for Māori, build Māori and Indigenous knowledges and practices, and are radically reshaping how Aotearoa-New Zealand responds to environmental issues.

Associate Professor Bargh is an active commentator in the media on Māori politics, representation, and issues around Māori rights.

Maria’s political economy research increases the impact Māori have at local government levels, through investigating and highlighting unfulfilled obligations of councils to mana whenua in their areas. Local government staff have directly sought her advice on those Treaty obligations, Māori political participation and engagement and advice about online voting for Māori.

Maria’s environmental research includes renewable energy, biodiversity and climate change projects. Her ‘Tika Transition Toolbox’ has been widely discussed and led to her appointment by local government on the Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Committee. Central and local government are implementing policies around climate change adaptation and Maria’s Toolbox factors Māori rights and interests into transitions to a low carbon economy.

More information is available on the award at the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Associate Professor Maria Bargh.