Buzz from the Beehive: Megan Woods signals no retreat from plans to incorporate mātauranga Māori in NZ science system

The news media have made much of the government’s firing a shot across the bows of the supermarket duopoly.

The Government has put supermarkets on notice that they must change at pace to increase competition and be prepared for regulation.

It will introduce an industry regulator, a mandatory code of conduct, compulsory unit pricing on groceries and more transparent loyalty schemes.

Not so much attention is likely to be paid to Megan Woods’ Cawthron Institute Centenary Speech, although it portends some key features to be incorporated in a shake-up of the country’s research, science and innovation sector.

Most contentiously, our Minister of Research, Science and Innovation signalled the government’s determination to further incorporate Mātauranga Māori in the country’s science system and to develop research priorities in a partnership with Māori.

Woods congratulated Cawthron for its support of industry and work in improving the health of our environment

She enthused about the success and growth over time of the institute’s Aquaculture Park and the recent opening of the National Algae Research Centre.

“It’s great to see your research areas expand while supporting the growth of an exciting new seaweed and algae industry. I’m particularly interested in the research looking at producing alternative protein sources from algae and how we can become a key contributor in this growing field.”

Woods also mentioned the institute’s work improving farming conditions in our aquaculture industry and creating better health indicators for King Salmon, to help drive higher industry standards and maintain our position as a global leader.

Cawthron’s vision, to provide science that contributes to sustainable growth,

“… also aligns with the multi-year programme I am leading which is focused on the future of New Zealand’s research system.”  

That was Woods’ segue to discussing work on Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways.

The government recently completed engagement with the research, science and innovation sector, she said.

Several high-level themes coming through include:

  • Developing national research priorities, in partnership with Māori that are flexible and adaptable.
  • A shift from the current focus of competition between organisations to a more collaborative approach.
  • Improving the visibility of Mātauranga Māori and better enabling Māori research aspirations
  • A desire that the future of our RSI sector is more stable both for our workforce, and across project funding

“I’m pleased with our progress to date, we know we have much more to do.

“And as we speak, my MBIE officials are bringing together your feedback and aim to share this shortly. All in all, this is an exciting time to re-imagine a future research, science and innovation system that reflects our diverse nature.”

The  promotion of mātauranga Māori came into Keri Allan’s considerations, too.  

The government is investing $4 million into culture and heritage

… to  ensure the sector continues to flourish with a focus on resilience, sustainability, and mātauranga Māori, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan says.

A focus of Budget 2022 was supporting Māori tribes to elevate and enrich the culture and heritage of tangata whenua, recognising their role as knowledge holders, cultural owners and kaitiaki of mātauranga Māori, she said.

The $4 million for Te Matatini is to help the group develop their aspirations above and beyond the Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata Festival. 

Allan’s press statement noted that Budget 2022 provides $18 million to celebrate Te Ao Māori and preserve taonga – including funding for the commemoration and celebration of Matariki and Waitangi Day, and supporting some of our cultural institutions to continue to showcase and protect our taonga.

  • $10 million to embed the commemoration and celebration of Matariki into Aotearoa New Zealand’s national fabric over the long-term and enable community-level celebrations for Matariki across the country, as well as an increase in the Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund to enable regional and community-based celebrations
  • $4 million to Te Matatini to enable the continued delivery of Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata Festival and to develop a regional kapa haka model
  • An additional $1 million to the Museum Hardship Fund, administered by Te Papa, to support the whare taonga from the ongoing effects of COVID-19
  • $3 million to the Waitangi National Trust Board to keep the grounds open to the public, and to safeguard the taonga it houses.

In addition, Budget 2022 provides $42.9 million in capital funding to rebuild a fit for purpose Spirit Collection Area for Te Papa to continue to deliver its world class services “in a compliant and cost-effective way” while increasing iwi and community engagement. The Spirit Collection Area is a collection facility owned by Te Papa which houses a significant proportion of New Zealand’s unique and globally precious natural history collections.

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2 thoughts on “Buzz from the Beehive: Megan Woods signals no retreat from plans to incorporate mātauranga Māori in NZ science system

  1. We need Luxon to get a spine and state unequivocally that he will repeal all this race-based legislation if he wins the next election. Anything else is worthless and meaningless. Why does he not stand up an oppose all of this utter nonsense ? I cannot see him as an effective PM; I much prefer Seymour and will vote accordingly.

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  2. I agree. Act have laid down plans, quite some time ago for the lowering of CO2 emissions. Also an alternative budget and in general common sense plans for the future of New Zealand.

    Like

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