Repository of knowledge: mātauranga Māori

Whaowhia te kete mātauranga – fill the basket of knowledge. © chameleonseye, iStock

We investigated the concept of a digital repository to manage mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) gathered by the Sustainable Seas Challenge.

Project Leader: James Whetu, Whetu Consultancy Group

Duration: July 2016 – June 2017 
Budget: $185,357  
Status: Completed  

For this project, we reviewed measures to protect, preserve and record the whakapapa of mātauranga Māori gathered across the Challenge. We also explored the appropriateness of a digital repository in this context.  

We investigated similar repositories used overseas and developed templates for use once management frameworks are confirmed, such as:   

  • participant and researcher consent form 
  • information collection form 
  • information for participant regarding repository 

Our research explored the legal standing and best approach for the development of a digital repository for the Challenge and considered the design and digital elements required.  

We collaborated with Te Tāhū o te Pātaka Whakairinga Kōrero: Next Generation Indigenous Knowledge Project within the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge to develop a process diagram for use by research institutes in collection of mātauranga Māori and recommendations around ethical protocols.  

We discovered that establishing a repository for mātauranga Māori required support from Māori who would be contributing their individual or collective knowledge (traditional and contemporary) on behalf of their whānau, hapū, group/organisation, and/or iwi. Also, we identified the importance of  improving understanding and guidance for researchers within Challenge who are sourcing and using mātauranga Māori.  

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