Māori & Science

Māori and Science, 2002

Fiona Cram in collaboration with Morehu Henare, Tom Hunt, Jenny Mauger, Dallas Pahiri, Suzanne Pitama & Colleen Tuuta, IRI, University of Auckland

Funder: Royal Society of New Zealand

Timeframe: 2002

In March of 2002 Dr Fiona Cram, IRI, was approached by the Royal Society of New Zealand about a small piece of research that they wanted to commission about Māori views of science and technology. The result was Dr Cram’s proposal to the Royal Society that the research focus on three case studies of Māori communities/groups who had had reasonably positive interactions with scientists. The three case studies were:
  1. Effectiveness of a relationship between hapū and science providers - a case study between the Tangata Whenua of the Ngāti Kere Rohe and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA). Jenny Mauger & Dallas Pahiri
  2. He kōrero mō tī kouka - a case study of the interaction between Te Rōpū Raranga Whatu O Aotearoa and Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research. Suzanne Pitama & Morehu Henare
  3. Mapping kaimoana - a case study of interaction between Otaraua hapū and Fletcher Challenge Energy scientists. Colleen Tuuta & Tom Hunt
The findings of the present research should go some way toward facilitating better interactions between Tangata Whenua and the Scientific Community. Three case studies were therefore conducted with three Māori groups that have problem-solved an issue by the engagement with science/technology and matauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge). From this research Good Practice Guidelines were developed.

Contact us if you'd like this report.

Māori and Genetic Engineering, 1999-2000

Fiona Cram, Leonie Pihama and Glenis Philip Barbara, IRI, University of Auckland

Funder: Te Puni Kokiri - Ministry of Māori Affairs

Timeframe: 1999-2000

Māori views on genetic engineering are not new in the sense that we have always known of the importance of whakapapa (genealogy) and mauri (life principle). What is relatively new is the notion of genetic engineering and, in particular, transgenics. There are key people who have been speaking to these issues, and the issues of cultural and intellectual property, for the past decade. In 1999-2000 we explored the views of 24 key informants as well as the thoughts and concerns of 94 ‘ordinary’ people who participated in research hui. 
Three broad and inter-related areas were examined:
  •        Food, including food production and the issue of labelling of food.
  •        Human health, including genetic testing and genetic solutions to health issues.
  •        Biological diversity, including issues related to indigenous flora and fauna.

Two of the researchers, Fiona Cram and Glenis Philip Barbara were interviewed about the research by In Motion Magazine, May 31, 2001.

Related Publications

Cram, F. (2005). Māori and genetic testing, Part 1. Exploring issues. Working Paper developed for the Constructive Conversations – Whakaaetanga Kōrero Research Project. Auckland: Katoa Ltd.

Cram, F. (2005). Backgrounding Māori views on genetic engineering. In J. Barker (Ed.), Sovereignty. Lincoln, NE.: University of Nebraska Press. pp.51-66.

Cram, F. (2009). ori and violence: What’s the problem? MAI Review, Issue 2, Article 4.

Cram, F., Pihama, L. & Philip-Barbara, G. (2000). Maori and genetic engineering. A Research Report for Te Puni Kōkiri, Wellington. 178pp. (The executive summary is available for download below. Contact us if you'd like the full report.)

Fiona Cram,
10 Dec 2015, 17:24