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Māori and genomics

Vision Mātauranga

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

  • To use the science and innovation system to help unlock the potential of Māori knowledge, people and resources for the benefit of New Zealand
  • To 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
  • To build the capability of Māori individuals, businesses, incorporations, rūnanga, trusts, iwi, hapū, and marae to engage with science and innovation
  • To 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 a dedicated Vision Mātauranga Coordinator and a Kāhui Māori leadership group, Genomics Aotearoa plans to enable Māori leadership, establish research guidelines, and develop standards of engagement for researchers with Māori.

Vision Mātauranga Coordinator

Ben Te Aika

Ben Te Aika

Ben Te Aika coordinates Māori consultation and outreach, identifies potential research collaborations with Māori communities, and supports Genomics Aotearoa’s projects and researchers. Meaningful and effective engagement with Māori by researchers is appropriate and necessary from an ethical and professional standpoint. Ben aims to facilitate engagement to identify levels of acknowledgement and degree of control and provide proper recognition to the interests of Māori.

Contact Ben

Our Vision Mātauranga work

Developing exemplar engagement practice

A relationship of good faith and trust between Genomics Aotearoa and Māori is essential in effective and enduring engagement. Our Vision Mātauranga Coordinator works with researchers and with Māori at multiple levels in the community to improve confidence, capacity and capability for engagement. Ben draws on knowledge in Mātauranga Māori, and we also use the research guidelines Te Ara Tika, Te Mata Ira and He Tangata Kei Tua.

See the Guidelines

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 a GA Data Repository, again building on the research guidelines Te Ara Tika, Te Mata Ira and He Tangata Kei Tua.

Research relevant to Māori

Ben works on projects to improve genomics research relevance to Māori. One initiative has enhanced kaitiaki practices for a Māori landowner group in their management of native species - a great example of commerce, science and kaitiakitanga in the hands of flax roots Māori.


We contribute to conferences and forums, and foster community engagement opportunities.

Data Repository

Genomics Aotearoa will develop an environment which is inclusive and sensitive to Māori interests in research. This will include providing a managed data storage facility. Genomics Aotearoa plans to manage data storage and access within a Māori values context, something that is different from the standard ‘public repository’ or ‘open access’ philosophy. Researchers' and research development access will remain in place within a managed access approach. This facility will provide valuable points of difference in that approved access by researchers, data curation and improved connectivity to tangata whenua will be hallmarks of practice.


Photo: Kaki by Stephanie Galla

Related projects

Te nohonga kaitiaki - This project will develop guidelines for genomic research with Taonga species that explicitly incorporate Vision Mātauranga into benefit sharing and commercialisation pathways. 

Bioinformatics capability - One of the aims of this project is a national genomics data archive with appropriate guardianship.

Related groups

Kāhui Māori - leadership group

SING Aotearoa - We support the Summer Internship for Indigenous Genomics in Aotearoa.