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Successful Vision Mātauranga Research Projects Announced

16 research projects have been selected for funding through the latest round of the Government’s Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund.

The Fund aims to strengthen capability, capacity, skills and networks between Māori and the science and innovation system and increase understanding of how research can contribute to the aspirations of Māori organisations and deliver benefit for New Zealand.

A total of $3.8 million (excl. GST) has been awarded across the 16 projects over the next two years. MBIE Contestable Investments Manager Alan Coulson says these projects focus on significant issues affecting communities across New Zealand.

“Projects selected through this latest funding round aim to reduce illness, improve wellbeing, and prepare for future extreme weather events. These are subjects that impact all of us and I look forward to seeing the outcomes and benefits of this work for our economy, environment and people nationwide,” he says.

MBIE Director Māori Research, Science, and Innovation Dr Willy-John Martin says improving the connection between science and Māori aspirations enhances the impact of our research and reflects the unique interests and talent of New Zealand.

“Māori success is New Zealand success. It is exciting to see these research projects funded, that will develop greater connections between science skills and Māori capability, including for rangatahi, kaumātua, and Māori organisations.”

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Projects supported through the 2024 Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund include:

  • Waitiaki ki Uta, Waitiaki ki Tai – a project between Te Pu-a-nga Maara and Digital Sensing Limited to allow rangatahi to test the latest water quality monitoring technology while supporting them to gain knowledge and skills in scientific research, traditional observation techniques and Maramataka Māori.
  • Te Pūtake o Papatūānuku: Reviving Indigenous knowledge of wellbeing – a community-led project between Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae, Waipapa Taumata Rau - The University of Auckland and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi to improve indigenous wellbeing. The team will create and test a novel wellbeing assessment tool and improve our knowledge of what wellbeing means from a Māori and indigenous perspective.
  • Te Horo i Whakakotahi a Pūtōrino e Rua: Discovering the past, present and future impact on land, water and people caused by the Pūtōrino landslide - a collaboration between Rangitīkei iwi, Massey University, and the Horizons Regional Council to improve our understanding of the impact of the 1855 landslide dam outburst flood in the Rangitīkei Valley. By harnessing knowledge passed down through generations, it can inform ways to better prepare for future weather events.
  • Ngā kāhui kaitiaki kaimoana – a project between ngā iwi Te Arawa-ki-Tai, Te Whānau-a-Tauwhao te Hapū, and Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui, and the Cawthron Institute to improve understanding of dangerous marine toxins that cause serious illness when consumed. Those involved in the project will be trained and empowered with the right tools and knowledge to test their harvested seafood. This will reduce serious illness in the community, and ensure iwi are able to continue harvesting seafood.
  • He Wai Koi Ora, He Iwi Ora – Thriving Environments, Thriving Communities. Ngāti Toa Rangatira in partnership with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), will be looking to revitalise the health of Porirua Harbour. Revitalisation of this taiao will ensure that it can continue to support the community culturally, physically and economically into the future.

A full list of the funded projects can be found on the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund page of the MBIE website.

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