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Whilst working with iwi and hapū (who are leading research for turangawaewae or homelands), we often collaborate with scientists or other experts across a range of disciplines. Vision Mātauranga research raises Māori environmental narratives of place, whilst increasing knowledge around the issues faced by Māori communities today. In particular, our research explores adaptation strategies to address the impact of climate change on coastal Māori communities, through consultation with Māori land- and farm-owners, and by using the Māori knowledge systems of whakapapa (genealogy), hīkoi (walking/talking meetings) and kōrero tuku iho (ancestral knowledge).
Our researchers explore Māori kaupapa (themes) in relation to contemporary lives and performance art, and critically investigate the issues relating to the development of Māori art. Our research interacts with the broader Māori community through exhibitions and community programmes.
We have interdisciplinary design-led research projects aiming to enhance engagement with Māoritanga and Māori values, including creating new learning resources that enhance te reo Māori uptake and learning opportunities.
Māori visual culture is a major focus of research, and encompasses diverse practices underpinned by a kaupapa Māori context. Researchers in this area are highly connected to their iwi and hapū communities while maintaining nationally recognised international research and art making practices.
Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.
Search our staff database for an expert or area of expertise.
Dr Tina Makereti’s anthology of Māori and Pasifika fiction, edited with Witi Ihimaera, was published in 2017. Dr Makereti teaches creative writing and is particularly interested in Māori and Pasifika creative expressions.
Mata Aho are a collective of Māori artists who are all alumni of Massey. Rooted in te ao Māori (the Māori worldview), their work entangles mythology, actuality, and materiality. Kiko Moana was commissioned by Hendrick Folkerts, curator for documenta14, to show at the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Kassel, Germany in 2017. Mata Aho were the first New Zealand Māori artists to be invited to exhibit at documenta, alongside artists Nathan Pohio and Ralph Hotere.
Warren Maxwell’s practice is focused on the natural environment, a kaupapa (objective) central to Aotearoa's indigenous music, through collaborations with with globally active multi-media artists, Māori philosophers, academics and scientists who are also concerned with climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Recognising an opportunity within the normalisation and lack of learning resources for te reo Māori. This design-led project delves into the emerging technology of AI, alongside contemporary and urban Māori design, to bring all people a new and holistic experience to engage with Te Ao and te reo Māori.
A collaborative work with Kura Puke, 'Te Mauri' is an audio-visual object featuring 3D scan imaging techniques of a Taranaki 19th century war canoe prow that travelled with iwi elders for the landmark 'Te Māori' exhibition at MoMA, New York, USA (1985). 'Te Mauri' explores the digital representation of Maori taonga back to a place where it once travelled.
Te Puna o Te Mātauranga is a contemporary painted meeting house that is supported by the art forms of weaving and carving. Central to the visual impact of the house are the curvilinear painted and carved patterns, and the rectilinear patterns found in weaving. The 'baskets of knowledge' narratives are the applied concepts to the house.
The Deep South National Science Challenge Vision Mātauranga team from Massey University (and others) alongside Horowhenua hapū researchers, have received ongoing funding for Risk Management Planning for Climate Change impacts on Māori coastal ecosystems and economies for 2017-2019. This Māori-led interdisciplinary, kaupapa Māori and action research project aims to develop integrative decision making tools that, given local conditions, enable Māori communities to assess the risks and benefits associated with alternate coastal land use adaptation strategies.
Georgia Bailey-Murdoch created a typeface to help non-Māori speakers correctly pronounce the language. The project has also helped with her own te reo journey. The Mārama typeface was created because of a missed opportunity to learn te reo. The Māmara typeface uses visual cues and unique characters to group syllables and letters together to encourage correct pronunciation.
Whakawhiti Āria: Transmission is a collaborative kaupapa between Bob Jahnke, Shane Cotton and Israel Tangaroa Birch. The premise of the exhibition hinges upon the idea of ‘transmission’ or ‘whakawhiti’; that is, the state of something being transmitted or exchanged from one person or thing to another, be it energy, ideas, information or inspiration.
In 2016 lecturer Shannon Te Ao (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) was awarded the Walters Art Prize, arguably New Zealand's most prestigious art award, for his two artworks; 'Two shoots that stretch far out' (2013-14) and 'Okea ururoatia (never say die)' (2016).Walters Art Prize
Walters Art Prize
Professor Bob Jahnke was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017 for his contribution to Māori art and education.The New Zealand Order of Merit
New Zealand Order of Merit
This residency programme was established in 2016 as a partnership between Massey University’s College of Creative Arts and the Office of the Governor General. In the grounds of Government House, a small cottage has been made available for established Māori and Pasifika artists to research and produce new work. The residency aims to encourage and promote indigenous visual arts and to build relationships with our Māori and Pasifika communities.