From its inception, the foundational purpose of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) was to conduct excellent research of relevance to Māori peoples; research which brings about benefit and positive change. Our initial vision concerned the transformation of New Zealand society such that Māori participate fully in all aspects of society and the economy.
In order to achieve this, in our first years we invested heavily in the creation of a critical mass of Māori researchers and the establishment of an environment for Māori-relevant research. Our vision was to transform society so that Māori may achieve full participation.
In 2010, we continued and deepened this focus by exploring the nature, value and benefit of Māori participation in our society and economy. Hence, our new vision is to unleash the creative potential of Māori peoples to bring about positive change and transformation in the world.
We remain concerned with increasing the participation and success of Māori people training in and conducting research. However, we supplement this by asking what might the contribution of Māori peoples be to arenas such as new knowledge, economic development, environmental sustainability, health and social wellbeing and educational achievement? Our interest falls on unleashing the creative potential of Māori peoples: individuals, communities, institutions and organisations. We seek to understand this creative potential and to apply it to solve critical issues and to yield important opportunities. Our research addresses two critical concerns:
- Creative Opportunities arising in Māori peoples; such as those represented by the new organisations and assets established through the settlement of Treaty claims and the creative potential of mātauranga Māori/indigenous knowledge
- Needs, problems and issues arising in Māori peoples; such as health disparities, educational underachievement, imprisonment rates, violence and more
We position our research so that it may contribute to new knowledge, economic development, environmental sustainability, health and social wellbeing, and educational achievement. In addressing these critical concerns, we enlist the creative potential and the actual contribution of Māori peoples to assist us in our research and ultimately in achieving the positive change envisioned.
Importantly, the nature, value and benefit of full Māori participation in society and in the economy arises not merely through Māori participation in pre-existing activities – for Māori peoples bring a whole host of distinctive creativity to our nation.