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Kanapu - Accelerating Māori RSI Talent, Leadership And System Navigation


Kanapu is a Māori-led initiative on a mission to ignite Research, Science and Innovation (RSI) talent and leadership across Te Ao Māori. Māori researchers, scientists and knowledge-holders are fundamental to a vibrant RSI system but the evidence shows they are largely undervalued and unsupported.
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Kanapu - which means lightning or instantaneous glow - will strike at the obstacles that block Māori pathways into the RSI system. Existing professional development and leadership programmes do not address the unique needs and aspirations of the Māori RSI workforce, nor offer fit for purpose training strategies and learning solutions. The RSI system is also fragmented, making it challenging for Māori communities, businesses and organisations to connect with the right people to meet their own research needs and aspirations.

Designed and led by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) Māori Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), Kanapu is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to connect and nurture a diverse puna (pool) of Māori talent in the wider RSI system and expand the impact of Vision Mātauranga.

“Kanapu is a further way the Government is strengthening the benefits that Māori knowledge, culture, values and worldview bring to the research system. This initiative will enhance the employment outcomes of Māori in the research workforce, and will benefit the whole research workforce,” Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall says.

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Pou Matarua|Co-Director Professor Tahu Kukutai adds: “Ngā Pae is excited to be taking this next step to building the foundations for flourishing Māori futures. There are huge untapped RSI opportunities for our communities - Kanapu will help realise them”.

Kanapu will be located at the University of Waikato with Pouhere | Executive Director Vanessa Clark (Waikato; Ngāti Tiipa, Ngāti Tahinga, Ngāti Āmaru) at the helm. Over six years Kanapu will work with Māori researchers, scientists and knowledge-holders to design bespoke initiatives to meet the programme’s goals to:

  • strengthen connections between the RSI system and hapū, iwi, and Māori communities
  • support Māori scientists, researchers and knowledge-holders to thrive as Māori within the RSI system
  • provide opportunities for Māori scientists, researchers, and knowledge-holders to access the right resources and supports to develop their talent and leadership skills
  • leverage and develop customised tools and resources to support RSI system navigation

NPM is Aotearoa’s only Māori CoRE and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. NPM has a sustained track record of nurturing Māori talent and serving Māori communities.

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