from Bob Edlin’s Point of Order blog

Mātauranga Māori will propel Pāpāmoa school kids’ science learning (in te reo) and give lift-off to NZ’s space policy

Buzz from the Beehive

Two ministerial press statements today draw attention to the Government’s incorporation of  mātauranga Māori in its science policies and programmes.

One of these announced the launch of the national space policy, which will oblige our space boffins to bring indigenous knowledge into their considerations.

The national policy document tells us:

  • As part of informing diverse space policies and sector development initiatives, the New Zealand government will engage mātauranga Māori expertise.


  • Mātauranga Māori and space are deeply connected, with space representing whakapapa (genealogical links to the beginning of the universe), wairuatanga (the spiritual connection between Earth and the universe, derived from Māori cosmology), and tātai arorangi (Māori knowledge of astronomy). The New Zealand government encourages inclusive collaborations with individuals or groups who are currently underrepresented in the space sector (including but not limited to Māori) and for these collaborations to work toward sustainable outcomes. The New Zealand government will also strive to further understand and assess representation across the space sector, to best direct inclusive collaboration opportunities.

Another statement released today tells us a school will  be built in Pāpāmoa for kids who will be taught in te reo about science, engineering, mathematics and what-have-you.

The statement from Kelvin Davis is laced with te reo and – when it comes to telling us about matauranga  Māori – becomes incomprehensible for readers who do not speak that language.

Teaching at the wharekura will be conducted in te reo Māori and will deliver a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) programme supported by mātauranga Māori. This reflects Ngā Pōtiki ki Uta Ngā Pōtiki ki Tai – mai ngā kāhui maunga ki te moana: Tauranga Moana, Tauranga tangata: Te Arawa waka Te Arawa tangata: Mai ngā pae maunga ki te moana.

The cost of this particular project is not stated but Davis says boosting Māori education is a focus for the Hipkins Government, as shown in the recent Budget where $225 million went into areas including more classrooms and learning support.

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