Veracity Technology

The Veracity Technology Spearhead research project is looking for data and computer science solutions to an ancient question: How can you verify something is what it appears to be?

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Snapshot

  • Veracity is about ensuring the integrity of data or products as it moves into different spaces, and this is of particular concern when it comes to Māori knowledge and data.

  • The multidisciplinary Veracity research team plans to employ cutting edge science to develop new ways to build digital infrastructures that support more transparency.

  • In the coming months, an industry advisory group will be established, to ensure ongoing market input and engagement with end users. 

  • Plus the project will create a collaborative multidisciplinary research lab to put Aotearoa at the forefront of veracity technology worldwide. The development of the Veracity Lab will be led by Brendan Hoare, who brings extensive experience from the organics industry and building trust in NZ products to the project team. 

This question of veracity is relevant across endless industries and communities. In a world where data is increasingly behind all our products and services, knowing that data is authentic is key to trusting in any transaction.

The multidisciplinary team is led by Assoc Prof Markus Luczak-Roesch of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Information Management, and plans to employ cutting edge science to develop new ways to build digital infrastructures that support more transparency. Research leader, Markus Luczak-Roesch says:

“Whether it’s a natural product, a digital product or data, it’s increasingly difficult to know if something is truly what we think it is. How do you know for sure where a product is made or whether the claims made about it by the producer are authentic. Plus how can we trust that our data is protected and used only in ways we have agreed to?”

This is of particular concern when it comes to Māori knowledge and data. The Project’s Vision Mātauranga Leader, Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, Assoc Prof Māui Hudson (Te Whakatohea, Ngā Ruahine, Te Mahurehure), explains the importance of protecting mātauranga Māori data:

“Veracity is about ensuring the integrity of data or products as it moves into different spaces. Digitisation of Māori knowledge and data enhances access but also increases the possibility of misappropriation and misinterpretation. Maintaining the integrity of the mātauranga is an important outcome for iwi.”

What Is Veracity Technology? A QnA with Assoc Prof Māui Hudson and Assoc Prof. Luczak-Roesch

An industry advisory group will be established, to ensure ongoing market input and engagement with end users, rangatahi and sector representatives, including socio/legal, regulatory, software and supply chain expertise.

Plus the project will create a collaborative multidisciplinary research lab to put Aotearoa at the forefront of veracity technology worldwide. The Veracity Lab is being developed by Brendan Hoare, who founded Buy Pure New Zealand, a trade community of organic, natural and fair trade brands. He will bring his experience of building trust in NZ products to the exploration of how veracity technology can support this. More detail about the Veracity Lab will be available soon. 

Assoc Prof. Luczak-Roesch says, “This Spearhead research project has the potential to make a difference for New Zealand businesses by growing trust, potentially maintaining the integrity and competitiveness of entire sectors. Plus it puts focus on a growing global issue that matters to every individual; the truthfulness and authenticity of information in the digital sphere.”

The Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge Veracity Technology Spearhead Project commenced in July 2021.

More information 

'Indigenous data protection system to branch out into Māori communitites'

Read this Stuff article about the a global project between Veracity Technology Vision Mātauranga Leader Associate Professor Māui Hudson (Te Whakatōhea, Ngā Ruahine, Te Mahurehure) and New York researchers, to support indigenous communities to protect their rights on their knowledge and data. The article outlines the fact that indigenous intellectual knowledge has been mined by researchers without thought for those behind the knowledge. This project is employing a system of Traditional Knowledge labels to track information back to its  original iwi or hapū. 

Project background information

This Mission-led Spearhead Project commenced in July 2021 and will continue for two years to a total of $2M. The project will be subject to a review for further funding available during the National Science Challenges 10-year term, 2014-2024. Find out how we develop our Mission-led projects.