Vision Mātauranga

Contributing innovative, practical and sustainable climate adaptation solutions for Māori and all New Zealanders.

Ko ngā mahi inaianei hei oranga mo rātou apopo | For those who will benefit from our efforts today

Eight Māori-led science projects have been or are currently funded through the Vision Mātauranga science programme of the Deep South Challenge. These projects are investigating climate change impacts and opportunities for iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori business. Together they represent the largest ever Māori-led research effort into the implications of changing climate conditions for Māori society.

Vision Mātauranga underpins the Deep South Challenge’s governance and management structure, as well as the entire spectrum of our research and engagement work.

It’s also a standalone science programme, supported by a committed Kāhui of prominent Māori researchers. Our whakapapa helps us respond to voices from across the Māori world. We know that climate research must be focussed on finding practical and sustainable options for Māori and for the country in general.

The projects within the Vision Mātauranga science programme investigate climate change links, pressure points and adaptation strategies for Māori communities and business. They’re also considering new products, services and systems derived from mātauranga Māori.

Each project draws on distinct research methods – mātauranga Māori, science, art, design and even games – to unlock collective knowledge and shape conversations about our future climate. These projects all help to strengthen connections and knowledge exchange among Māori and the wider science community.

Given the intergenerational responsibilities Māori have to our own communities and to the living world, questions surrounding how we will deal with climate change are critically important. Tremendous advances in research and learning have been made, but much more remains to be done. We hope these highly collaborative projects will contribute new research capacity, capability and leadership to identify opportunities and pursue actions to manage future climate risks.


Vision Mātauranga scholarships

    The Deep South Challenge is partnering with three institutions to offer scholarship opportunities (up to $20,000 each) for students completing their Masters (by thesis) studies. We're offering these scholarships in partnership with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, the University of Otago and the Victoria University of Wellington.

    The scholarships have been established to build cross-disciplinary research capability and capacity in global change studies. We're hopeful of awarding six scholarships this year, building capacity and capability for Maori-led research into climate change implications and adaptation options. 

    Applicants must be ready to enter their thesis year of Masters studies, and their proposed research needs to fits within the themes of our Vision Matauranga Programme:

    • Theme 1: Understanding climate change - linkages, pressure points and potential responses
    • Theme 2: Exploring adaptation options for Māori communities
    • Theme 3: Assistance to Māori businesses to aid decision-making and long-term sustainability
    • Theme 4: Products, services and systems derived from mātauranga Māori (including Te Reo Māori me ōna Tikanga)


    This is our second year of supporting students. In our first year, four scholarships were awarded. You can read profiles of our scholarship recipients here:


    For more information contact: Sandy Morrison (VM Programme Leader) or Lucy Jacob (Challenge Manager).


    Uenuku appears at Kuku in the Horowhenua. Read more about the climate adaptation project in Kuku here.

    Science lead

    Our Vision Mātauranga Science Lead is Sandy Morrison (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Rarua, Te Arawa).
    Email: [email protected]