Roa, T., Beggs, J. R., Williams, J. & Moller, H. (2009). New Zealand’s Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) model undermines Maori research. Journal of Royal Society of New Zealand, 39(4), 233-238.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3461
The Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) model was instigated in 2002 to increase “the quality of research through peer assessment and performance indicators” in New Zealand (Ministry of Education 2002: 17). It is used to allocate funding between universities, departments and researchers according to the putative quality and quantity of their research outputs over the preceding 6 years. PBRF is expected to incentivise improved research excellence and efficiency, and allow government to invest research funds where greatest returns will result. This is potentially a huge gain for Māori. However, “by changing the conditions of knowledge production, research assessment exercises may also alter the shape and direction of disciplines by diverting and channelling researchers’ intellectual attention and political engagement, influencing what they study, how they do it, and how they report and write” (Middleton 2009: 194). Indeed, universities repeatedly encourage researchers to focus on activities that will improve their PBRF rankings. We believe that an unintended consequence of PBRF is the creation of significant barriers to increasing the volume, scope and quality of environmental research for Māori.
Royal Society of New Zealand
© The Royal Society of New Zealand 2009. Used with permission.