Eight universities have joined together to encourage more Maori to come through as academic leaders.
The Maori Academy for Academic and Professional Advancement - Manu Ao - was launched at Victoria University's Te Herenga Waka Marae this week.
Waatea News reports it builds on a pilot project which offered weekly seminars for Maori students and academics.
Director Selwyn Katene says the academy will co-ordinate the leadership programmes run by each university.
He says Manu Ao will advance Maori scholarship and strengthen links between Maori professionals and academics.