Professor Gary Raumati Hook
Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Hook is a biochemist by training holding a M.Sc. in chemistry, a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and a D.Sc. in biochemistry (by examination) all from Victoria University of Wellington. He worked abroad for close to 35 years, with 31 years at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the USA. His career has been spent as a scientist, editor, and educator. For most of his life, he has been a research biochemist running a research laboratory at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He has published around 150 research publications. His educational experiences are also extensive. He was the CEO of Te Whare Wānanga ō Awanuiārangi in Whakatane for over 4 years, having recently resigned. Previously, he has been an adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an Assistant Professor at Duke University Medical Center, and a Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Wales in Cardiff, United Kingdom as well as a Junior Lecturer in Chemistry at Victoria University of Wellington. Also, he is currently an adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington.
Some tough questions: Pākehā-specific education has been the norm for over 100 years. Is there a need for education specific to Māori and why is culture important in education? What proof do we have that culturally sensitive education improves academic performance? What is valued in education for Māori and for non-Māori? Why do economic and social factors interact with educational significance ultimately resulting in the unequal allocation of resources and limiting access to a reasonable standard of living? What is the effect of a Māori perspectives on education? What is a Māori perspective and is this perspective unique to Māori? What are the aspirations of Māori for their own education? Will Māori be permitted to decide their own curriculum without intervention from the educational; authorities. Who should say what is appropriate? Social justice considers what is fair and what is unfair. What can we expect from the Treaty of Waitangi? What can we expect from the moves within government to eliminate race-based programs when all of our entitlements come under the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi. Everyone seems to agree that multiculturalism is good and so why are Māori seeking a system of education that addresses their particular needs? What will the current trend within government to eliminate race based programs do for Māori education? What is the future?