Editor's note

Nau mai haere mai - welcome to this week’s New Zealand newsletter.

As the land occupation at Ihumātao continues, Massey University historian Michael Belgrave explores the links to protests in the 1970s, including occupations of nearby Bastion Point and the Raglan Golf Course. He looks at how this conflict, and its demonstration of the power of direct action, stands in contrast to the slow investigations of the Waitangi Tribunal and has the potential to undermine the long-term settlement of historical grievances.

And, while the number of Māori and Pasifika students attending New Zealand universities has been increasing steadily, most are unlikely to be taught by people with their cultural heritage. Tara McAllister, at the University of Auckland, and Sereana Naepi, at Thompson Rivers University, report on their research that shows that Māori and Pasifika scholars remain severely under-represented in New Zealand universities.

The challenge of successfully bridging cultural differences is at the core of research by Victoria University of Wellington lecturer Revti Raman Sharma, who writes that cultural intelligence is as essential as general and emotional intelligence, especially in an increasingly cross-border business world.

And in Climate Explained this week, AUT’s Sebastian Leuzinger uses a banking analogy to explain why grasslands don’t help us to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Many thanks for reading. Please share this newsletter with friends and colleagues - they can subscribe here and will find many more articles on the New Zealand page. Ka kite anō ā tērā wiki.

Veronika Meduna

New Zealand Editor

Top stories

The land occupation at Ihumātao brings together Māori and heritage activists seeking to stop a housing development on a site that marks the earliest human occupation of New Zealand. Alika Wells/Wikimedia

Land occupation at Ihumātao: why the New Zealand government needs to act cautiously but quickly

Michael Belgrave, Massey University

The land occupation at Ihumātao, near Auckland's airport, is reviving forms of protest common in the 1970s, now enhanced by new media and led by a new generation of Māorikeen to see grievances addressed.

The number of Māori and Pasifika students is growing, but they do not see themselves represented among the people who teach them. from www.shutterstock.com

Māori and Pasifika scholars remain severely under-represented in New Zealand universities

Tara McAllister, University of Auckland; Sereana Naepi, Thompson Rivers University

New research shows that Māori and Pasifika scholars are significantly under-represented in New Zealand's universities, making up only 5% and 1.7% of the academic workforce, respectively.

People with high cultural intelligence are more likely to have broader knowledge of foreign politics and economic systems. from www.shutterstock.com

What it takes to navigate cultural differences in a global business world

Revti Raman Sharma, Victoria University of Wellington

People with high cultural intelligence are non-judgemental, tolerant of ambiguity and inclusive – and these qualities mean they are more likely to be successful in global business positions.

While growing grass takes up carbon dioxide, it emits it again back into the atmosphere when it is mowed or eaten. from www.shutterstock.com

Climate explained: why your backyard lawn doesn’t help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Sebastian Leuzinger, Auckland University of Technology

All plants take up carbon dioxide when they grow, but when they are harvested or cut down, they release the greenhouse gas back into the atmosphere.

From The Conversation's international editions

View from The Hill: Morrison and Dutton block their ears and grit their teeth over Tamil family

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

As the Sri Lankan Tamil family from Biloela prepares to learn their fate tomorrow, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton can't avoid looking threadbare in terms of humanity.

Virtual fences and cattle: how new tech could allow effective, sustainable land sharing

Dave Swain, CQUniversity Australia

Since the feudal ages, fences have become a symbol of separation and ownership. Now, sensors and technology allow for a system of pooling resources which is not only sustainable but also productive.

IVF changes babies’ genes but these differences disappear by adulthood

Jane Halliday, Murdoch Children's Research Institute; Boris Novakovic, Murdoch Children's Research Institute; Richard Saffery, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

New research suggests that while babies conceived via IVF experience changes to their genes, these differences disappear by adulthood.

The American Founders made sure the president could never suspend Congress

Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire

The Framers of the Constitution knew their history, and sought to learn from it – and only to repeat the parts they liked.

The Amazon fire crisis has been 500 years in the making – as Brazil’s indigenous people know only too well

Darren Reid, Coventry University

After five centuries of extraction, the Amazon region stands on the brink.

Genetic engineering and human-animal hybrids: how China is leading a global split in controversial research

David Lawrence, Newcastle University

A growing international divide over cutting-edge medical research could worsen predatory practices, medical tourism and health inequality.

Moving Indonesia’s capital city won’t fix Jakarta’s problems and will increase fire risk in Borneo

Luca Tacconi, Australian National University

The government has reportedly set aside 180,000 hectares of land for construction of a new capital in East Kalimantan.

Let’s change the ‘girls play flute, boys bash drums’ stereotypes

Robbie MacKay, Queen's University, Ontario

When children take up instruments they're not passionate about, most don't stick with music for long, and that's a shame.

Canada could slow the accelerating nuclear arms race

MV Ramana, University of British Columbia; Lauren J. Borja, University of British Columbia

The recent nuclear explosions in Russia serve as a reminder of the threat that nuclear weapons pose. Canada is uniquely situated to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons globally.

How potential of massive e-waste dump in Ghana can be harnessed

Alison Stowell, Lancaster University

Sites like Agbogbloshie provides a valuable service. They offer opportunities for job creation, profit and cleaning up environments littered with waste.