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Kāhui Māori to guide National Science Challenge

26 July 2016

Kāhui Māori to guide National Science Challenge for Technological Innovation

The appointment of a Kāhui Māori (Maori Advisory Board) will help ensure Te Ao Māori (the Māori world-view) is embedded across the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge, says its Kaihautū (Chair) Te Taka Keegan.

The Challenge has a mission to enhance New Zealand’s capacity to use physical sciences and engineering for economic growth. It is one of 11 Science Challenges established by the Government.

Joining Te Taka on the Kāhui Māori are eminent social science researcher Katharina Ruckstuhl, highly respected Māori development scholar Mānuka Henare, bioengineer and developer of a ‘virtual eye’ Jason Turuwhenua , Māori business development and social entrepreneur Shay Wright and Challenge Director Margaret Hyland.

Together they are very well qualified to guide the Challenge, says Te Taka. “Along with a great knowledge of tikanga, their wider expertise and knowledge will be invaluable to the Challenge.

“The Kāhui Māori will guide our researchers to help them incorporate Vision Mātauranga, which aims to unlock the science and innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources and people for the benefit of all New Zealanders, into their research.”

Already Challenge researchers are incorporating Vision Mātauranga into their programmes.

Research is underway to develop a revolutionary new method for measuring groundwater flow velocity, which will enable the development of new technologies to detect contaminants.

Not only will this research underpin the development of new products for export, it will also benefit Māori managing water quality – particularly where mahinga kai is under threat from contamination.

To this end preliminary discussions have taken place with iwi to conduct field trials on their land.

The Kāhui Māori plans to host a rangatahi hui (youth forum) for emerging Māori engineers and hi-tech scientists to understand more about how they see the future of physical sciences.

“Engaging with our young people and helping them design their high-tech future through kaupapa Māori will be important in informing how we might shape the Challenge,” says Te Taka.


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