News & Events

Unconscious Bias and Education – A comparative study of Māori and African American students

Event Details
Executive Briefing Centre Boardroom, Level 2, Building 100, Curtin University, Kent Street Bentley
7 September 2016 4:58 am

The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education invites you to attend a presentation by Dr Carla Houkamau from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

About the presentation
Mounting evidence suggests racism contributes to Māori disadvantage in New Zealand. This perspective changes the focus of attention from Māori social and economic problems to the role of the (predominantly Pākehā) majority population in maintaining the status quo. Racism is disparaged in New Zealand where the vast majority of the population has consciously endorsed fairness and equity. At the same time, enduring disadvantage for Māori remains unexplained.

In this presentation, Dr Carla Houkamau will briefly outline the findings of a recent report she co-authored with Anton Blank (Oranui Ltd) and Dr. Hautahi Kingi (Cornell University) which explores and compares the experiences of Māori and African American children in education. The report, Unconscious Bias and Education: A Comparative Study of Maori and African American Students, looks specifically at how unconscious bias towards these groups by educators shapes future outcomes for these children. By adopting a diversity framework, the report suggests ways of mitigating bias and raising the bar for Māori children and other children of colour.

About Dr Carla Houkamau
Carla Houkamau (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management and International Business at the University of Auckland. As a social psychologist, Dr Houkamau has researched diversity within the Māori population, and the impact of systems’ bias towards Māori. She has emerged as a national expert on the concept of unconscious bias.

To attend this event, RSVP via email to by Friday 2 September 2016. Spaces are limited, so registrations are essential.

For those of you who may be unable to attend, this session will be recorded, transcribed and published to our website.

Posted 21 July 2016