Building the foundation

Having made a big step forward to improve their understanding of Te Ao Māori, several Challenge researchers are better equipped to integrate Vision Mātauranga into their work.

They attended Vision Mātauranga workshops, which were held recently in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and attracted 38 attendees - more than half of the Challenge researcher community.

Challenge Vision Mātauranga theme leader Te Taka Keegan says the aim of the workshops was to build a foundation of capability and practical knowledge to help researchers to engage with Māori in ways that deliver improved research value and knowledge sharing.

“A key goal is to integrate (kia kōtahi) Vision Mātauranga into all Challenge activity and its way of working and thinking. To make this happen some researchers need to be given opportunities where Māori value can be understood and collaborative engagement can be envisioned. These workshops are a great start.”

The workshops were conducted by Karen Clarke (Ngāti Kahungunu, Pākehā), who has worked extensively with government organisations involved in science and innovation.

Held over a full day the workshops covered aspects of the Māori economy, including economic settings and players, iwi, their drivers and how they generate significant economic growth.

Other topics included what good Vision Mātauranga practice looks like, values underpinning Te Ao Māori (the Māori world), knowledge creation concepts and best practise in forming meaningful relationships.

Te Taka says the feedback from the workshops was overwhelmingly positive.

“The most common theme was a thirst for greater understanding. That’s very promising because if, as a group, we are to achieve our Vision Mātauranga goals we will need to keep striving for new opportunities to bring Vision Mātauranga to life.”