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.


Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Equity and Anti-Racism Position Statement

E tipu e rea mō ngā rā o tō ao

Ko tō ringa ki ngā rākau a te Pākehā

Hei ora mō te tinana

Ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tīpuna Māori

Hei tikitiki mō tō māhuna

Ko tō wairua ki tō atua

Nānā nei ngā mea katoa


A Better Start National Science Challenge confirms that it respects and acknowledges that Te Tiriti o Waitangi is Aotearoa’s partnership agreement between Tangata Whenua (Māori) and Tangata Tiriti (people who are non-Māori and live in Aotearoa under the korowai of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. These principles apply to all of the Challenge’s research and activities:

• That Te Tiriti o Waitangi is Aotearoa’s partnership agreement between Tangata Whenua (Māori) and Tangata Tiriti (people who are non-Māori and live in Aotearoa under the korowai of Te Tiriti o Waitangi).
• That it will implement, to the fullest extent possible, the Articles and Principles of Te Tiriti through its role, scope and function.
• That it accepts the validity of, and will support or do everything in its power to support, Māori aspirations for mana motuhake (autonomy) and tino rangatiratanga (authority).
• That it will prioritise investments and strategies linked to equity of access, experience (quality) and outcome for Māori as a key strategic priority.
• That it will work in partnership with Māori (inclusive of iwi, hapū and whānau) in accord with Te Tiriti.
• That it will be an advocate of kaupapa and mātauranga Māori.
• That it will protect and honour te reo me ona tikanga.
• That it celebrates racial inclusion and will actively stand up against and support activities that reject all forms of racism, bias and any and all associated negative behaviours that may accrue from these beliefs, as they are unfair and unjust.
• That its activities will address needs and levels of disadvantage.
• That it will create and maintain policies and research funding guidelines that are pro-equity.
• That it holds accountability for effectively governing this position statement and is open to be held accountable in a fair and just way, based on evidence.




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’.


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