Mātau Taiao

Mātauranga Māori and kererū conservation

Laura Goodall Aug 18, 2016

Letting people harvest New Zealand’s protected wood pigeon can create a win-win outcome for all, says conservationist Len Gillman. Len Gillman For centuries, Māori carefully managed and harvested kererū as an important food source. As kaitiaki (environmental guardians), communities will place a rāhui (temporary ban) on specific animals or plants if numbers get too low, to allow them to recover. This mātauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge) dates back to well … Read More

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Disruptive thinking: rocket fuel for Māori innovation

Laura Goodall Jul 06, 2016

Dr Lance O’Sullivan was kicked out of school for disruptive behaviour. Twice. Now the award-winning Māori doctor has created another kind of disruption – an ambitious new health app that aims to speed up diagnosis and treatment times for common childhood illnesses. Māori innovation is skyrocketing.  The June 2016 statistics say it all: Māori innovation reached almost 65 percent … Read More

Deciphering Matariki: science lessons from star lore

Laura Goodall Jun 09, 2016

It’s Matariki, a sacred time for Māori that’s named after a specific star cluster. For Waikato astronomy researcher Dr Rangi Mātāmua, traditional Māori star knowledge and Western science are not enemies but allies. His latest project uses historic star lore to shed light on modern environmental issues – and is also a deeply personal quest that began with a dying … Read More

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Health and science stars shine for Matariki Awards

Laura Goodall Jun 08, 2016

Talented Māori professionals behind Indigenous disabilities research, space flight and a fitness-focused health initiative are finalists for the 2016 Matariki Awards. The inaugural annual event, which celebrates extraordinary Māori talent across a broad range of fields and industries, is presented by Māori Television and Te Puni Kōkiri and pays homage to the seven stars of Matariki with seven award categories. One is the Te … Read More

Powering potential in young Māori

Laura Goodall May 19, 2016

Teachers have been shown to underestimate Māori children’s academic capabilities, which their achievements end up reflecting. But Pūhoro, a forward-thinking science academy, has now been set up to support Māori youth in reaching their true potential. Naomi Manu and Mana Vautier give us the lowdown. One thing that people really don’t like to talk about is prejudice. But we all have … Read More

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Reshaping the mould for Māori obesity research

Laura Goodall Apr 29, 2016

What has the Māori word for ‘chieftainship’ got to do with a team of scientists looking at obesity in Northland? Answer: the researchers broke the scientific mould by putting the Māori communities — not scientists — in the leading role. Researcher Ricky Bell tells us how they did it. Rangatiratanga is a powerful word.  It’s loosely translated to mean chieftainship, authority, leadership.  But … Read More

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Eyes wide shut? A different view of knowledge

Laura Goodall Apr 07, 2016

Scientific and Indigenous ways of thinking differ in how they view where knowledge comes from. Many experiments strip the environment away from a piece of knowledge to see if it still holds true. Yet indigenous knowledge has deep links to its origins and can become ‘lost in translation’ without context. This is something that scientifically-trained people can struggle to get their head around at first. Kennedy Warne, co-founder of New … Read More

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Weaving knowledge to see the big picture

Laura Goodall Mar 23, 2016

Understanding holistically how the world works and our role in it helps us to make sustainable, long-term decisions. Many scientists work in a narrow field of research so need to collaborate across different disciplines to see the big picture. Yet indigenous knowledge is often overlooked. Dr Dan Hikuroa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Tainui, Te Arawa) is a specialist in Earth system science and integrating Māori indigenous … Read More

Project Mātauranga: indigenous knowledge and science in action

Laura Goodall Mar 08, 2016

A good starting place for better understanding Mātauranga Māori in the scientific world, is to watch an episode or two from Māori TV’s Project Mātauranga. Project Mātauranga is a television series that celebrates Māori innovation in the science sector. There are thirteen episodes that show how Western Science and Māori knowledge systems are combining to provide solutions to problems. Presented by Dr … Read More

Protecting New Zealand’s natural treasures

Laura Goodall Feb 27, 2016

Tangata Whenua — People of the Land — is the name that Māori call themselves as indigenous New Zealanders, and likely signifies the deep roots they have to this green and blue place of jagged peaks and valleys.  The land sustains us. It carries paths to the future as well as ties to the past: whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te … Read More

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