MAOR172-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Science, Maori and Indigenous Knowledge

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


This is an integrated multi-disciplinary course between Aotahi: School of Maori and Indigenous Studies and the College of Science. This course provides a basic understanding of Maori and indigenous peoples’ knowledge in such fields as astronomy, physics, conservation biology, aquaculture, resource management and health sciences. The course provides unique perspectives in indigenous knowledge, western science and their overlap. The course will provide an essential background in cultural awareness and its relationship with today’s New Zealand scientific community.

This is an integrated multi-disciplinary course between Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies and the College of Science.
MAOR172 is about understanding Māori knowledge, how it’s used, where it comes from and how it can be applied in a modern context. This paper provides a basic understanding of the knowledge of Māori and Indigenous people in a range of scientific fields. This exciting new integration of disciplines will show you a unique perspective on Māori knowledge in such fields as astronomy, physics and conservation biology.

An important part of MAOR172 is understating how Māori knowledge is still relevant in modern Aotearoa, especially in an environmental context like kaitiakitanga. This paper will also demonstrate the overlap and relationship between Māori knowledge and western science with input from different scientific fields. One of the most enjoyable aspects of MAOR172 is a field trip to Kaikoura to see firsthand the way the local hapū and community are using Māori knowledge and drawing upon Western science to achieve their aspirations.

MAOR172 is an extremely useful paper for anyone studying or intending to work within a field of science liable to engage with Māori communities. This paper will provide you with research and analytical skills relevant to both Māori and scientific careers and the overlapping knowledge will place you in the highly valued position of being able to apply those skills in a variety of culturally sensitive roles.    

Science is a contemporarily dominant form knowledge creation; what understandings can indigenous science bring to the table
• What is the place of indigenous knowledge compared and contrasted to a common understanding of science and is there a space they can talk to each other for mutual gain?
• Policies in New Zealand encourage a Māori insight in relation to the environment, what is Kaitiakitanga or Māori Resource Management and is it helpful?
• What technology and techniques did Māori understand and apply that could be considered science in a modern sense?
• Considering the explorative nature of science, what should science contemplate in regards to Māori Protocol, in what situations and why?

Some themes in this course are:
• Indigenous Knowledge: What are the traditions of science within Māori and Indigenous societies. Creation traditions, traditional technologies, traditional ecology.
• Kaitiakitanga: Resource management, Marine management, Treaty of Waitangi, Manawhenu partnership, Mahinga kai/ Food gathering resources
• Relationships: How does science and Māori communities work together; Earth science, Indigenous peoples and heritage sites, Freshwater issues, Astronomy, Bioethics and culture, Māori health research.

Learning Outcomes
• Basic understanding in Māori and Indigenous studies people’s knowledge in science fields
• Understand protocols that exist between scientific communities, Māori, and other Indigenous communities and why.
• Attain a unique perspective of Māori and other Indigenous knowledge, western science, and where they overlap.
• Acquire essential background understanding of cultural awareness, increased cultural confidence, and the relationship with the contemporary New Zealand scientific community

Why this Paper?
This is a uniquely cultural paper for the science community supporting pathways towards:
• Scientific research in New Zealand
• Government policy
• Consultation in Māori research
• Professional social services, education, and health sector roles that interface with Iwi and Māori organisations.
• Multiple opportunities in further Māori and Indigenous Research

Transferrable Skills:
This course contributes to the development of the following transferable skills:
• Academic Writing
• Cultural lens
• Applying the Treaty of Waitangi
• Environmental practical knowledge


Equivalent Courses

Timetable 2023

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01-P1 Monday 13:00 - 14:00 Rehua 009 (17/7-21/8, 11/9-16/10)
17 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 8 Oct
16 Oct - 22 Oct
01-P2 Monday 11:00 - 12:00 Rata 222 & 223 Drawing Office (9/10)
9 Oct - 15 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01-P1 Friday 13:00 - 14:00 E7 Lecture Theatre
17 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 8 Oct
16 Oct - 22 Oct
01-P2 Tuesday 16:00 - 17:00 E7 Lecture Theatre
9 Oct - 15 Oct
Field Trip A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 10:00 - 11:00 Whakapapa / Ruapehu
28 Aug - 10 Sep
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00 John Britten 117 HP Seminar Room
24 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 22 Oct
02 Wednesday 10:00 - 11:00 Elsie Locke 104A
24 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 22 Oct
03 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 Jack Erskine 235
24 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 22 Oct

Course Coordinator

John Pirker


Hamuera Kahi

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $916.00

International fee $4,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Aotahi School of Maori and Indigenous Studies .

All MAOR172 Occurrences

  • MAOR172-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023