Blending mātauranga Māori and science

Published date24 June 2022
Publication titleRotorua Weekender
From restoring native species, through to pest control and measuring and creating habitats to improve biodiversity, the fair will showcase the creativity, scientific research and experimentation of Year 5 to 13 tamariki and rangatahi from across the Te Arawa rohe

A joint kaupapa between Te Arawa Lakes Trust and Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the mātauranga Māori science fair is believed to be the first of its kind, specifically targeting environmental issues through a te ao Māori lens.

Running from June 30 to July 2, the fair has five categories — water quality, biosecurity, biodiversity, mātauranga Māori, and sustainability. Te Arawa Lakes Trust Operations Manager – Biosecurity and Jobs for Nature, William Anaru, says rangatahi are using the science fair to explore ways to combine mātauranga Māori and western science to influence decisions and future management within te taiao.

“Our Te Arawa rangatahi are so enthusiastic and passionate about being kaitiaki for the environment and that has really shone through in their mahi.

“Our vision for Te Tūkohu Ngāwhā Science and Design Fair is to bring it to other rohe and encourage more kōrero about how we can use our knowledge as Māori to improve te taiao around us.”

Mr Anaru says the fair will be open to the public, providing a unique opportunity for the community to see mātauranga Māori and western science as different, but equal, types of knowledge.

“It also gives rangatahi a chance to start having conversations with each other about the state of te taiao and how they see themselves managing it in the future. They will be our decision makers and ones who drive change.”

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Biosecurity Manager, Greg Corbett, says the collaboration perfectly aligns with the...

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