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Appointment of the Moderation Team for Quality Evaluation 2026

Appointment of the Moderation Team for Quality Evaluation 2026

Last updated 30 September 2022
Last updated 30 September 2022

In preparation for the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation in 2026, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is pleased to announce the appointment of the Moderation Team.

Dr Shane Edwards (Ngāti Maniapoto/Waikato/Te Ati Haunui-a-Paparangi) has been appointed Co-Moderator Māori, Professor Wendy Larner has been appointed Co-Moderator, and Associate Professor Yvonne Te Ruki Rangi o Tangaroa Underhill-Sem has been appointed Deputy Moderator Pacific.

The Moderation Team and the roles for Quality Evaluation 2026 have been changed to reflect the new PBRF principles of partnership, equity, and inclusivity, and the TEC’s commitment to honour its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to uphold Māori-Crown partnership. ‘I am delighted that Dr Edwards, Professor Larner, and Associate Professor Underhill-Sem have accepted their appointments to the Moderation Team’, says Gillian Dudgeon, Deputy Chief Executive Delivery at the TEC. ‘All three are internationally-respected researchers and leaders in their fields, and collectively they bring a wealth of PBRF experience and research expertise, including in Mātauranga and Kaupapa Māori, and Pacific research’.

Dr Shane Edwards has worked across the tertiary landscape and across multiple Government agencies, primarily in the fields of Maori education, health, and development, heading his own research and evaluation consultancy with a primary focus on community research and evaluation. Dr Edwards has served as a panel member on the Māori Knowledge and Development panel in every Quality Evaluation since its inception, serving as Deputy Chair in 2012 and Panel Chair in 2018.

Professor Wendy Larner is currently Provost of Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, and Co-Chair of the PBRF Sector Reference Group, and was President of Royal Society Te Apārangi from 2018 to 2021. Previously, she was Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and Professor of Human Geography and Sociology at the University of Bristol. Professor Larner is an internationally-respected social scientist whose research sits in the interdisciplinary fields of globalisation, governance and gender. Professor Larner has been a panellist for previous PBRF exercises, the Research Excellence Framework (UK), the German Universities of Excellence initiative, and was a reviewer for the Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercise. She was a member of the PBRF independent review panel.

Associate Professor Yvonne Underhill-Sem is currently Co-Head Te Wānanga of Waipapa, School of Maori Studies and Pacific Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland. Associate Professor Underhill-Sem is a Cook Island Niuean with close family ties to Papua New Guinea. She was Director of Development Studies at the University of Auckland, Director of New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research, and has participated in research assessments for Marsden, HRC and the Prime Ministers awards. She was the Deputy Chair of the inaugural Pacific research panel for PBRF in 2018 and a member of the PBRF independent review panel. Yvonne is a Pacific feminist development geographer by training and has taught at the University of Papua New Guinea, has been a development professional in Europe and is currently active in civil society organisations in the Pacific and globally.  Her interdisciplinary research circulates around mobilities, maternities, diverse economies and environmental change.

The Moderation Team provides senior sector oversight of the Quality Evaluation and plays a critical role in providing confidence in the results. Ahead of the Quality Evaluation, the Moderators work closely with the TEC to appoint the initial peer review panel members, and support the drafting of the Panel-Specific Guidelines. They will also work with the Sector Reference Group to finalise the main Guidelines. When the Quality Evaluation takes place, the Moderation Team is responsible for ensuring consistency across assessments and panels.

Following the appointment of the Moderation Team, the TEC will shortly call for nominations for the initial peer review panel members, and will set out the indicative timeframes for the full panels appointment process.

For more information on PBRF Quality Evaluation 2026, see the TEC website.