Exploring synergies between two knowledge systems  - mātauranga Māori and western science - Annual Report 2018

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Exploring synergies between two knowledge systems - mātauranga Māori and western science - Annual Report 2018

8 April, 2019

James Warbrick collecting samples from a pool

We partnered with the Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust to use materials science to better understand the natural colours of geothermal rocks and waters at the Whakarewarewa Village and surrounding areas within the Taupō volcanic zone.

Welcoming the partnership, Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust Chief Executive Blair Millar said: “By working with traditional knowledge around the colours in the rocks and waters of Whakarewarewa and surrounding areas, this project will provide new knowledge where skills and experiences can be shared with schools, and relevant curriculum-linked activities based on the themes of mātauranga and science in practice. It’s about bringing the stories, the legends, the waiata and the science together.”

The work will include chemical analysis of trace elements, and the study of the crystalline structures of the materials. MacDiarmid Institute Co-Director Professor Justin Hodgkiss, who grew up in Rotorua, said: “The project will incorporate and explore synergies between the two knowledge systems’ of mātauranga Māori and western science.”

The research findings and experience from the joint project will be shared openly and a range of communication and knowledge transfer mechanisms with be utilised.

Wānanga will be held at the village to transfer knowledge that will in turn be passed on to visitors through the on-going guiding legacy.

Educational resources and information collateral (e.g. audio-visual, media, printed material) will be developed and made available through Te Mātāpuna o Papatūānuku, GNS Science – Whakarewarewa facility and online on the MacDiarmid Institute website.

“This partnership with MacDiarmid provides new knowledge where skills and experiences can be shared with whānau and relevant curriculum-linked activities based on the themes of mātauranga and science in practice.”

Blair Millar CEO, Whakarewarewa - The Living Māori Village