Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Point of Order: Munificence for Mātauranga Māori

How the Ardern Govt is dishing out millions for projects from the arts to science

The Point of Order Munificence for Mātauranga Māori Monitor picked up the announcement from the Beehive this morning of more money being heaped into a trough unabashedly reserved for people from just one of the country’s many ethnic groups.

The latest handouts are being spruiked as further action taken by the government to protect Mātauranga Māori against whatever mischief Covid-19 might do to it.

The Government is continuing to take action to support Māori to safeguard at-risk mātauranga from the ongoing threat of COVID-19, through the extension of the Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme.


“We’re continuing to lay the foundations for a better future by prioritising the protection of mātauranga Māori and its importance to Māori cultural identity and wellbeing, and to Aotearoa New Zealand,” Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said.

“There is an urgent need to protect unique and vulnerable mātauranga Māori, working with kaumātua, tohunga, pūkenga and other knowledge holders to ensure its survival and resilience for future generations,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

She described the Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme as

“… unique in the wide spectrum of projects it supports, allowing a holistic and cross-discipline approach to protecting mātauranga Māori.”

She further said it “was first launched in 2020” [so when was the second launch?] with initial funding of $20 million over two years for 18 initiatives aimed at preserving mātauranga Māori related to arts, culture and heritage.

Many of the projects are ongoing and – presumably – the call has gone out for more dosh.

The additional $4.5 million investment

“… responds to the real need to support Māori communities in the transmission of mātauranga from one generation to the next, an area which often lacks financial resources.”

Moreover, the initial funding fell far short of meeting the demand.

Who would have believed it?

“Every round of funding for this initiative has been significantly oversubscribed, so we know there are dozens of amazing initiatives out there that need support to revitalise mātauranga and taonga around Aotearoa.”

In recent months, the Point of Order Munificence for Mātauranga Māori Monitor has been triggered by these announcements:

31 MAY 2022

Toi Māori takes centre stage in Government investment in culture and heritage

Kiri Allan, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, said Government investment into culture and heritage will ensure the sector continues to flourish with a focus on resilience, sustainability, and mātauranga Māori.

She was publicising support in the 2022 Budget for

“… iwi Māori to elevate and enrich the culture and heritage of tangata whenua, recognising their role as knowledge holders, cultural owners and kaitiaki of mātauranga Māori.”

Budget 2022 provided $18 million to celebrate Te Ao Māori and preserve taonga, including funding for the commemoration and celebration of Matariki and Waitangi Day, and supporting some of our cultural institutions to continue to showcase and protect taonga.

These projects were among the beneficiaries:

* $10 million to embed the commemoration and celebration of Matariki into Aotearoa New Zealand’s national fabric over the long-term and enable community-level celebrations for Matariki across the country, as well as an increase in the Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund to enable regional and community-based celebrations
* $4 million to Te Matatini to enable the continued delivery of Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata Festival and to develop a regional kapa haka model

* An additional $1 million to the Museum Hardship Fund, administered by Te Papa, to support the whare taonga from the ongoing effects of COVID-19

* $3 million to the Waitangi National Trust Board to keep the grounds open to the public, and to safeguard the taonga it houses.

Moreover, Budget 2022 provides $42.9 million in capital funding to rebuild a fit for purpose Spirit Collection Area for Te Papa. This is a collection facility owned by Te Papa which houses a significant proportion of New Zealand’s unique and globally precious natural history collections.

27 MAY 2022

New funding for protecting and enabling mātauranga Māori

Nanaia Mahuta, Associate Minister for Māori Development, said Te Pae Tawhiti programme which supports research and innovation in the Maori economy is getting a further $27.6 million investment over the next four years.

“Budget 2022 funding will contribute to helping create economic security now and into the future by enabling Māori businesses to use mātauranga Māori to diversify Aotearoa’s exports through targeted investment in the Māori economy,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

:By leveraging off our unique culture and identity, early modelling estimates this work has the potential to deliver up to $340 million to our Māori economy in Aotearoa annually.”

26 MAY 2022

New Matariki resources available for schools and kura

Kelvin Davis, Associate Minister of Education (Māori), announced 51 education resources

“… that will help bring Mātauranga Māori to life” [we wonder who had declared it dead!].

No sums of money were mentioned in the press statement. But –

“Matariki is our first uniquely te ao Māori public holiday and is a time for us to remember the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future. Matariki also provides ākonga (students) with a gateway into mātauranga Māori and tikanga Māori,” Kelvin Davis said.

“These resources will directly impact the identity, language and culture of our ākonga.”

The curriculum resources created include activity cards, books (including eBooks), journals, apps, waiata, rotarota, videos, posters, teaching and learning programmes, and Maramataka.

12 APRIL 2022

Proud to be backing mātauranga Māori scientific research

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson announced 16 projects will receive funding through the latest round of the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund.

The ministers mentioned a horticultural and food enterprise, a study into intergenerational iwi knowledge, and “ways of bringing traditional and modern engineering streams together”.

They did not mention the total appropriation, but notes to editors at the bottom of the press statement list the projects and the funding for each one. It totalled almost $3.9 million.

“This Fund is all about supporting the many opportunities that come from strengthening mātauranga Māori and the science and innovation system in a way that embraces both bodies of knowledge as complementary,” says Megan Woods.

The statement highlighted these points:

* Indigenous innovation – contributing to economic growth through distinctive science and innovation

* Taiao – achieving environmental sustainability through iwi and hapū relationships with land and sea

* Hauora/Oranga – improving health and social wellbeing

* Mātauranga – exploring indigenous knowledge and science and innovation.

Woods specially mentioned Rangitāne o Manawatū working with Massey University and Plant and Food to find what needs to happen to develop the karaka nut as a potential commercial enterprise.

“We know the kernel is a gluten-free source of carbohydrate and protein and has the potential to be a useful food source, however, its toxins need to be eliminated, and that’s where mātauranga Māori comes in,” Megan Woods said.


Our modern-day scientists are incapable of developing a technique for eliminating the toxin without incorporating mātauranga Māori in their work?

Perhaps this explains why the Royal Society of New Zealand has got in on the act.

The society administers the Marsden Fund, which in November last year allocated $82.345 million (excluding GST) to 120 research projects led by researchers in New Zealand.

“These grants support excellent research in the humanities, science, social sciences, mātauranga, mathematics, and engineering for three years.”

The statement quotes the Marsden Fund Council Chair, Professor David Bilkey:

“It’s great to see the increasing engagement with mātauranga Māori, which has been recognised across a range of disciplines”, notes Professor Bilkey.

“Some examples include studies investigating the cultural importance, sustainability and affordability of urupā tautaiao (natural burials); exploring the potential for green innovation – including by Māori – in the environmental impact of body disposal; the genetic variations associated with gout; and using cutting edge tools to better align archaeological findings with Māori history.”

This suspiciously suggests archaeological findings don’t now align with Maori history. The Royal Society therefore has approved funding for a project to change this…

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton


Kiwialan said...

I really, really cannot comprehend how a stone age tribal society, no written language, no wheel ,no warm woven material, extinction experts on many of their food species, the list is endless. Inter-tribal warfare, slavery and cannibalism was rife but now we are expected to believe they embraced the sciences!!!!! I think pull the other one, its got bells on it. Kiwialan.

Terry Morrissey said...

I see at the begining of the article that they are wheeling out the tohunga. I fully expect to see them with the run of the hospitals in the near future under Dr Dolittle's new regime. Odious little man.

Ray S said...

All of the money handed over, administered by Maori.
Absolutely no accountability.
Criminal in the extreme.
What a bunch of fools we are to allow robbery of every citizen of their hard earned money.