Welcome to Rangahau: Research at Massey University

PROFESSOR GISELLE BYRNES - Assistant Vice-Chancellor - Research, Academic and Enterprise

Nau mai, haere mai. Welcome to the second issue of Massey University’s research publication Rangahau: Research at Massey University. I am delighted to share with you a snapshot of the rich research currently under way here at Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa.

In this issue we profile 30 researchers, both up-and-coming scholars and more established researchers, from a range of disciplines, and explore their exciting and challenging projects. Here at Massey we value research both as a scholarly endeavour and as a practical means through which to improve lives, lift social and economic wellbeing and nurture our environment. Our people are committed to making a real difference for Aotearoa New Zealand and for the world. In short, research impact matters to us, as does our responsibility as a university to act as a critic and conscience to society and our ability to ‘speak truth to power’ with authenticity and evidence.

In this edition of Rangahau we showcase the excellence and breadth of research across Massey University, drawing attention to our diverse portfolio and the quality and ingenuity of our world-leading researchers. It is also informed by our recently released Massey University Strategy 2018–2022 and Research Strategy: He Rautaki Rangahau 2018–2022, which will guide our decision-making in coming years.

As you can see from the stories in this issue, research at Massey spans discovery, commercialisation, scholarship and the production of creative works, and includes both professional and clinical practice. We are justifiably proud of our unrivalled record of research excellence in subject areas vital to this country’s society and economy, reaching back almost 50 years, and in the creative arts more than 130 years. These areas of research strength include veterinary science, land and food-based research, nursing and public health, finance, key areas of the social sciences, and creative arts and design. Our expertise in these fields, along with our capability to deliver a diverse distance and online teaching portfolio, means that we are among the world’s very best.

Research at Massey spans discovery, commercialisation, scholarship and the production of creative works, and includes both professional and clinical practice.

Our research at Massey is also distinguished by our focus on solving ‘wicked problems’ and contemporary societal challenges, in addition to maintaining our commitment to fundamental knowledge discovery. This dual focus, along with our unwavering responsibility to demonstrate leadership in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand as we uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the founding document of our nation, clearly differentiates Massey from other universities.

Our applied approach to research also informs the connection with our teaching and postgraduate supervision through the teaching-research nexus. Our academic offerings, driven by our research, offer students opportunities to work alongside practitioners and engage in applied learning contexts, and to solve ‘real world’ problems.

One of the key objectives in the Massey University Strategy 2018–2022 is for our university to be a Tiriti o Waitangi-led institution. This infuses and informs everything we do at the university. We are excited by this goal, noting that while research is a key area where we can work to realise this aim, such ambition comes with huge responsibilities.

Since we published the first volume of Rangahau in 2016, a number of readers have asked for an explanation of the title. In te reo Māori the word ‘ranga’ forms a base for many words, but in the word ‘rangahau’ it connotes to raise, cast up, to ‘pull up by the roots’ or to set in motion. The word ‘hau’ also has many meanings but when combined with ‘ranga’ it can mean to be heard, report, publish abroad, or a message that is notable and illustrious.

Thus the word ‘rangahau’ suggests our purpose and one of our core missions as a university: to seek, search out, pursue and to raise up. Here at Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa we have adopted this term to express in te reo Māori the idea and essence of researching and our effort to promote excellent research initiatives.

Rangahau celebrates this tradition by profiling researchers from across our colleges, research institutes and centres whose work exemplifies engaged, essential and globally relevant research with impact and influence.

I invite you to read on, explore and enjoy.

Tihei mauri ora!



Assistant Vice-Chancellor
Research, Academic and Enterprise