A review into allegations of institutional racism at the University of Waikato is still underway as supporters gather at the campus today.
The hikoi comes after six Māori academics at the university, including world-renowned Professor of Indigenous Education Linda Tuhiwai Smith, wrote a 13-page letter alerting the Ministry of Education to their concerns.
The allegations, which came to light last month, included Māori expertise being ignored, tokenism, lower pay for Māori staff and no meaningful commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.
It's understood the university decided not to renew the contracts of Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies dean, Professor Brendan Hokowhitu, and Tuhiwai Smith.
After the allegations were made public the university announced an independent review, led by Sir Wira Gardiner and his wife - former National MP Hekia Parata.
The Herald understands hundreds of submissions were made in 15-minute interviews or in writing, over one week. However, the university said the exact figure would be released along with the review findings.
One of those days was Kingitanga Day, where the university celebrates its relationship with the Māori community, which meant submitters had four days.
Tertiary Education Union [TEU] organiser Shane Vugler said the union made a six-page submission.
Vugler said the union was concerned with how quickly the review had been conducted and that it was undertaken by a husband and wife team.
"Our understanding is the overwhelming body of the submissions are absolutely specific and clear that institutional racism and casual racism is a factor at the university, and it will be interesting to see how the reviewers respond to that weight of submissions."
By this week, more than 7000 people had signed an open letter in support of Tuhiwai Smith, known among academia as the Mother of Indigenous Studies.
Vugler said some of that support was from international academics.
In an unprecedented situation, 100 members of Tuhiwai Smith's iwi - Ngāti Porou - will stand in solidarity with Māori staff and students at 1pm today for the review presentation, which is not open to the public.
Members of the tribe were welcomed onto Te Kohinga Mārama Marae at the university with a pōwhiri and spent the morning doing "welfare checks" on iwi staff and students.
Meanwhile, the university announced this week it had secured almost $27 million in funding from the MBIE Endeavour Fund for three projects with a predominantly Māori research focus:
• Tikanga in Technology: Indigenous approaches to transforming data ecosystems: $6m.
• Working to End Racial Oppression: $10m.
• Āmiomio Aotearoa – A circular economy for the wellbeing of New Zealand: $10.9m.