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Mātauranga Māori

Utilising Māori ways of knowing and being for teaching and learning. This page includes resources that explore the nature and expression of mātauranga in different contexts.

Mātauranga Māori is not like an archive of information but rather is like a tool for thinking, organising information, considering the ethics of knowledge, the appropriateness of it all and informing us about our world and our place in it. 1

Mātauranga Māori encompasses ancestral knowledge of the human, natural and spirit worlds as well as contemporary and creative knowledge of these realms. It is knowledge, ways of knowing, being and believing developed collectively by Māori in the past, present and future.

Mātauranga Māori is a taonga, and as such requires protection. Iwi, hapū and whānau are the primary kaitiaki of mātauranga and any data or knowledge that is generated about them. The University has an obligation to provide a safe environment in which mātauranga can flourish.

The responsibility to determine how mātauranga can be used and by whom is an issue that has been the subject of a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, which is the key legislative avenue for potential redress for Māori claims against the state. The Waitangi Tribunal determined that kaitiaki (stewards) have the agency to protect and limit uses of mātauranga. Their report into claims on New Zealand law and policy affecting Māori culture and identity identified kaitiakitanga (stewardship) as an obligation through perpetual kin relationships. 2

Integrating Māori knowledge

Ella Newbold (Professional Teaching Fellow, Te Puna Wānanga) delivers a lecture on mātauranga Māori, integrating Māori knowledge into the curriculum.

In-video links

Pause the main video to watch these video clips.

Playback should occur at 11:10s while watching the main video.

Playback should occur at 11:45s while watching the main video.

Playback should occur at 12:45s while watching the main video.

Playback should occur at 13:35s while watching the main video.


Doherty, W. (2009). Mātauranga Tūhoe: The centrality of mātauranga-a-iwi to Māori Education. [PhD thesis, University of Auckland]. ResearchSpace.

Doherty, W. (2012). Rongo framework – He rarango kaupapa: Conversations on Matauranga Maori.

Johnstone, K., & Museum of New Zealand. National Services. (2006). Mātauranga Māori and museum practice. Resource guides, Online(31).

Mead, H M. (2003). Tikanga Māori: Living by Māori values. Huia Publishers.

Mead, H. (2012). Understanding Matauranga Maori: Conversations on Matauranga Maori. http://www-rdcacms.

He Korowai Oranga: Māori Health Strategy launch

Watch Sir Mason Durie discuss the application of mātauranga to health.

Small steps – He rautaki iti

  • Seek to understand different cultural perspectives on the topics you teach.
  • Identify mātauranga expertise in your discipline or field. Acknowledge and incorporate their research.
  • Identify and acknowledge the kaitiaki who have contributed to the research in your discipline or field.
  • Use teaching practices that demonstrate manaakitanga.

Page added 27/11/2023

  1. Hirini, Mead M. Tikanga Māori: Living by Māori values. Revised edition. Wellington, New Zealand: Huia Publishers, 2013.
  2. Waitangi Tribunal. Ko Aotearoa Tēnei: A Report Into Claims concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Māori Culture and Identity. Wai 262. Wellington, New Zealand: Legislation Direct, 2011.
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