Back to top anchor
Open main menu Close main menu

Māori and genomics

Vision Mātauranga

Vision Mātauranga is the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE)’s policy. Its purpose is to:

  • Use the science and innovation system to help unlock the potential of Māori knowledge, people and resources for the benefit of New Zealand
  • Recognise Māori as important partners in science and innovation; both as inter-generational guardians of significant natural resources and indigenous knowledge, and owners and managers of commercial assets
  • Build the capability of Māori individuals, businesses, incorporations, rūnanga, trusts, iwi, hapū, and marae to engage with science and innovation
  • Maximise the quality of the relationship between Māori and the Crown through science and innovation through the Treaty of Waitangi. (MBIE Vision Mātauranga policy)

Vision Mātauranga is at the centre of Genomics Aotearoa activities. Guided by our Vision Mātauranga Manager, Genomics Aotearoa enables Māori leadership, is establishing research guidelines, and is developing standards of engagement for researchers.

A relationship of good faith and trust is essential. Our Vision Mātauranga Manager is working with researchers and with Māori at multiple levels in the community to improve confidence, capacity and capability for engagement. Our work draws on several research guidelines.

Guidelines for genomics research with Māori

  • Te Ara Tika
  • He Tangata Kei Tua.
  • Te Mata Ira

Data management procedures

Data management is an important part of Vision Mātauranga. Genomics Aotearoa is developing procedures to support good research practices and streamline access to data within the GA Data Repository, again building on the research guidelines Te Ara Tika, Te Mata Ira and He Tangata Kei Tua. 

The Genomics Aotearoa Data Repository aims to provide a managed data storage facility that supports Māori interests in genomics research.  Data storage and access will be managed within a Māori values context that recognises the importance of Māori data sovereignty. This  differs from the standard ‘public repository’ or ‘open access’ philosophy. Researchers' and research development access will remain in place within a managed access approach The hallmarks of this approach include a process of kaitiaki approval for data sharing and access, tailored data curation and improved connectivity with tangata whenua.  

Research projects

Te Nohonga Kaitiaki: Now complete, this project has developed guidelines for genomic research with Taonga species that explicitly incorporate Vision Mātauranga and support greater benefit sharing. 

Ruatau: This project is aimed at developing cultural competency in Māori genomic scientists in collaboration with Māori communities to increase the understanding of genomics and associated risks and benefits in Māori communities.
Understanding Māori rights and interests in Intellectual Property (IP) arising from research and innovation: “There are significant concerns regarding issues of Intellectual Property that arise from research activities and engagement.  In recognition of this,  Genomics Aotearoa and the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge funded a report on report on Māori rights and interests in IP was funded by Genomics Aotearoa and the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge (SfTI).

Bioinformatics capability: One of the aims of this project has been to establish a national genomics data archive with appropriate guardianship.See Aotearoa Genomic Data Repository 

Research relevant to Māori: We also work on projects to improve genomics research relevance and benefits to Māori. For example, one initiative has enhanced kaitiaki practices for a Māori landowner group in their management of native species - a great example of science and kaitiakitanga, along with commerce, in the hands of local hapori.

SING Aotearoa

We support the Summer Internship for Indigenous Genomics in Aotearoa SING Aotearoa
Read more about SING Aotearoa 2021.

SINGAotearoa interns:
Anezka Hoskin
Anastasia Rickard
Jordon Lima