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Te Pūtahitanga: A Tiriti-led Science-policy Approach For Aotearoa New Zealand

A new report by leading Māori researchers seeks major changes to the way in which knowledge and evidence is used in policy and decision-making in post-COVID Aotearoa.

Te Pūtahitanga: A Tiriti-led science-policy approach for Aotearoa New Zealand raises concerns about the exclusion of Māori and Pacific expertise from science advice and key decision-making roles, which was particularly evident during the pandemic:

“A top-down model that is not adequately informed by Māori voices retains its intellectual blind sports and weakens the relevance of scientific conclusions. This, in turn, can undermine positive outcomes for Māori and reinforce beneficial outcomes for groups that are already privileged”.

The report calls for a bolder science-policy approach that leverages the unique strengths of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Mātauranga Māori to achieve better outcomes for Māori. It makes five key recommendations:

  • Appoint Māori Chief Science Advisors in key departments
  • Develop Tiriti-based guidelines for RSI funding
  • Strengthen monitoring of Māori RSI investment and activity
  • Establish a Mātauranga Māori entity with autonomous governance and baseline funding
  • Develop a plan for regionally based Te Ao Māori policy hubs

Te Pūtahitanga was written by Māori researchers working across the RSI sector including from Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga, the Chief Science Advisor Forum, the Health Research Council and the National Science Challenges (Rauika Māngai). It has been backed by prominent Māori organisations including the New Zealand Māori Council, the Māori Women’s Welfare League, Te Ohu Kaimoana, Te Kāhui Raraunga, and Te Mana Raraunga Māori Data Sovereignty Network.

The report follows the publication of A guide to Vision Mātauranga: Lessons from Māori voices in the New Zealand science sector by Rauika Māngai last year

Te Pūtahitanga will go live Wednesday 28-April at 5AM on our website:

To mark the release, NPM is hosting a same day webinar with some of the authors from 12pm – 1.30 pm. To register, visit:

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