Vision Mātauranga

Our shared frameworks

Vision Mātauranga and He Awa Whiria guide our research and operations

Vision Mātauranga is a Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation policy framework designed to give strategic direction to research relevant to Māori developed with researchers, funders and research users including the Māori community.

Mātauranga means to know, knowledge or a knowledgeable person. Vision Mātauranga means to think about new ways of doing things, to find answers, to solve problems. Vision Mātauranga aims to foster distinctive approaches to research, science and technology that will result in:

  • indigenous innovation: the development of products, processes, systems and services from Māori knowledge, resources and people – especially those that may be distinctive in the international marketplace
  • taiao: environmental sustainability through understanding iwi and hapū relationships with our land and sea – including kaitiakitanga or guardianship
  • hauora and oranga: better health and social wellbeing for Māori through research that meets the distinctive needs of Māori communities
  • mātauranga: the development of a distinctive body of knowledge at the interface between indigenous and western knowledge

He Awa Whiria

He Awa Whiria is our braided rivers model for integrating knowledge from differing sources. The theories of knowledge are braided to intersect in mutually-inclusive domains flowing forward to progress the well-being of all tamariki.

A Guide to Vision Mātauranga 

All 11 of the National Science Challenges and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga contributed to ‘A Guide to Vision Mātauranga‘ for the science sector.

The Guide was developed out of a Hui led by the Rauika Māngai, an assembly of senior Māori representatives from across the National Science Challenges. It includes perspectives from Māori scientists, research leaders and programme managers.



Tukutuku Design: Poutama, or Stairway to Heaven, is a design that can be interpreted to symbolise the climb of the hero Tawhaki to the heavens to obtain the three baskets of knowledge from the supreme being, Io. Poutama generally represents striving for betterment and the quest for enlightenment and knowledge. MoRST’s Mäori name, Te Manatü Putaiao, means ‘the Ministry for Science’.


A Better Start informs next steps for Well Child review

A Better Start informs next steps for Well Child review

A Better Start E Tipu e Rea National Science Challenge has helped to inform the next steps for the country’s Well Child Tamariki Ora programme, which provides health and development screening for children from birth to five years. A major review, commissioned by the...

Queen’s honour for A Better Start professor

Queen’s honour for A Better Start professor

A Better Start National Science Challenge Professor Angus Hikairo Macfarlane has received one of the Queen’s highest honours. Professor Macfarlane is a leader with A Better Start’s Successful Learning team, and is the Challenge's Kaihautu Māori. He has been made a...

Announcing the Lifecourse project

Announcing the Lifecourse project

The lifelong impact of chronic diseases on New Zealand families is at the centre of a major new research programme. Three of the government’s National Science Challenges – A Better Start, Healthier Lives and Ageing Well – are collaborating to develop a research...