Kia ora koutou

Over the last year, one of the focuses of the Chief Science Advisor Forum, in particular myself, Tahu Kukutai and Gary Evans, has been on building a bridge between the science advisory system and te ao Māori. This culminated last year in a hui with the Hon Dr Megan Woods, Minister of Science, Research and Innovation, on 11 December which represented the collective thinking from more than one hundred Māori leaders, rangatahi and policy makers who contributed to three hui between October and December 2019.

I was hugely disappointed to miss the hui as I was in the bunker supporting the science response to Whakaari, but it was wonderfully chaired by Michael Ahie in my absence. You can read all about the hui here, and the summary is below, with an emphasis on moving away from competition, colonisation and fragmentation towards contribution, mana ōrite and whanaungatanga; from mātauranga at the periphery to mātauranga at the core. A huge thank you to Michael Ahie, Tahu Kukutai, Jess Hutchings, Gary Evans and Susie Meade for supporting this kaupapa, to Min Woods for enthusiastic engagement and the enormous energy and time given by the Māori research community during 2019.

Me whakatinana te korero!

Juliet's signature

Accelerating Rangatahi Māori

success in a STEAM-focused future



Matāuaranga at the periphery
Māori deficit

Mana ōrite
Mātauranga at the core
Māori pride

  • An RSI system that under-funds, under-values and fails to protect mātauranga and creates ‘competition for crumbs’
  • Unequal power balance between the Crown and Māori and lack of enabling partnership
  • System of false starts funding new programmes but not providing long-term funding to sustain successful programmes to flourish and grow
  • Narratives based on ‘Māori failure’ rather than system failure and accountabilities
  • Māori and Pasifika rangatahi seen as a problem to be solved, rather than a taonga to be invested in and nurtured
  • A vision & strategy for mātauranga enabled through an interconnected / intergenerational RSI system with mātauranga Māori and Māori values and aspirations at the core
  • Equitable funding with new mechanisms that are distinctly for mātauranga and that unites rather than fragments Māori
  • True Crown/Māori Treaty partnership with shared power and resources
  • Successful Māori-led programmes identified and supported for the long-term
  • Stories of Māori success
  • A system that values and inspires rangatahi Māori identity and supports them to be leaders in a STEAM-focused future


  1. Identify the Māori-led initiatives and ropū that are already working and make sure they are properly supported for the long-term to be able to evaluate, iterate and grow. Some we already know about and we can accelerate growth quickly e.g. Pūhoro, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and Te Rauika Māngai. Support a dedicated Māori-led secretariat to support these Maori initiatives.
  2. Create a Māori centred RSI platform e.g. a Māori-led NSC with new funding
  3. Develop deep understanding of excellence and impact as they relate to Maori research which reframes science understanding of excellence and impact
  4. Increase funding for the Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund and its longevity
  5. Establish co-management and co-governance of the RSI system e.g. equitable representation on the Science Board / separate Māori science board


  • Change the perception of science and technology at an early age (e.g. Ruatahuna kura kaupapa)
  • Co-design and re-contextualise a system wide Mātauranga Māori Strategy which outlines a shared vision and highlights the role of rangatahi and international indigenous connectivity
  • Support Māori leadership to deliver mātauranga impact
  • Tech that enables rangatahi to engage with mātauranga in ways that excite them (e.g. Land of Voyagers)

This document is the output of a Māori in STEAM hui held 11 December 2019, Wellington. It represents the collective thinking from over one hundred Māori Leaders, rangatahi and policy makers who contributed to three hui between October and December 2019. The actions were presented to the Hon Minister Dr Megan Woods on 11 December 2019.

Download the one-page summary as a PDF (1 MB)

Download the full summary notes from the hui (PDF, 282KB)