Dancing at the interfaces : ways of doing : the interfaces between indigenous knowledges and Western science : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Massey University
An opportunity exists for Maori to lead the development of a new way of
knowledge production in Aotearoa New Zealand that acknowledges and
capitalises on the rich traditions of both mātauranga Māori and western science.
Research at the mātauranga Māori and western science interface has the
potential to contribute to the preservation and evolution of mātauranga Māori and
for the creation of new knowledge of benefit to Aotearoa New Zealand society.
Dancing at the interfaces is the title for this thesis. The title encapsulated how I
see the interactions and relations between mātauranga Māori and western
science. A primary focus of this thesis is the interfaces between branches of
knowledge mainly indigenous knowledges, for example mātauranga Māori, and
western science. The research begins by exploring the national and international
literature for harms done to indigenous knowledges and mātauranga Māori since
colonisation. A profile of harms was compiled from this literature and based on
interviews with four Maori scientists regarding their own impressions and
experiences of the interfaces. From this data five themes at the interfaces
emerged: activity, passion, challenge, uncertainty and deficit. These themes are
used to describe characteristics of the interfaces and develop recommendations
for developing a new way of knowledge production at the interfaces. The
research concluded that there are several issues and three key elements that
must be addressed at the interfaces to facilitate the collaboraiton of mātauranga Māori and western science as a transformative force for Maori development. The
key elements were: ways of doing literacy; rangatiratanga and leadership; and
innovation and productivity.