Eight projects successful in Marsden Fund

02 November 2017
Dr Hirini Kaa has been awarded a Fast-Start grant for his project on the Young Māori Party.

The role of stable housing in reducing re-offending by ex-prisoners is one of the eight research projects in the Faculty of Arts that were successful in the latest round of the Royal Society's Marsden Fund.

The Faculty was funded for eight of the eleven projects it applied for at a total value of $4,905,000.

"This fantastic outcome reflects the importance and quality of the research conducted by our staff and demonstrates the Faculty's steady increase in externally-funded research income. I congratulate the outstanding researchers recognised through these highly-competitive grants," says Dean of Arts, Professor Robert Greenberg.

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Dr Alice Mills was awarded $845,000 for her project titled 'Going straight home'.

Alice will utilise a mixed-methods approach to explore the potential role of stable housing in turning ex-prisoners away from crime. It will follow up a cohort of ex-prisoners, and will use short pre-and post-release interviews and statistical analysis to ascertain the relationship between stable accommodation and recidivism in New Zealand. 

She explains that "internationally, little is known about how and why stable housing can help to reduce recidivism. Does it create strong social capital or facilitate community integration, particularly if provided by family members? Does stable housing represent a 'home' around which pro-social identities are constructed?"

Dr Avril Bell, also a Senior Lecturer in Sociology, was awarded $845,000 for her project 'Tangata Tiriti: Learning the trick of standing upright here', in which she will explore the views and experiences of tangata tiriti in relation to Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi in the 'post-Treaty settlement' era. 

Historian Dr Hirini Kaa won a Fast-Start grant of $300,000 for his project titled 'The Young Māori Party: Leading iwi in to modernity'.

At the turn of the twentieth century Te Aute College Student's Association and the Women's Christian Temperance Union's Māori branches provided a new form of leadership for iwi entering into a new era. Together as the Young Māori Party (YMP), they would use their own cultural strengths and the tools of empire to reshape iwi for the challenges of modernity, a form of leadership still predominant today. 

Hirini will study the YMP and its origins in the period 1872–1935.

Dr Gerard O'Regan of the James Henare Māori Research Centre was also awarded a Fast-Start grant for his project 'Initiating a Māori archaeology of threatened North Island rock art'.

Anthropologist Dr Ethan Cochrane was awarded $720,000 to research land agriculture in ancient Samoa: 'Uncovering the origins of the Polynesian chieftains', while Associate Professor of Philosophy Tim Dare was awarded $635,000 to build an 'Ethical Framework for Social Policy Applications of Predictive Analysis'.

Associate Professor in History and Classics and Ancient History, Lisa Bailey was awarded $625,000 for research titled 'Servants of God, Slaves of the Church: Rhetoric and Realities of Service in Early Medieval Europe', while Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, Jeremy Armstrong won $635,000 to do a comprehensive study of the ancient literature, archaeological evidence, and 'reconstruction archaeology' to develop a holistic model of the development, manufacture, supply, and maintenance of military equipment in the ancient Mediterranean.  His project is called 'Blood and Money: The Military Industrial Complex in Archaic Central Italy'.

See the full list of Marsden Fund grants awarded in 2017