Vision Mātauranga Strategy (May 2019)
High-Value Nutrition (HVN) is the National Science Challenge (NSC) with the mission to grow the science excellence and knowledge New Zealand needs to create and deliver food to the world that people choose to stay healthy and well. In delivering this mission, HVN seeks to give effect to the principles of Vision Mātauranga (VM), a government policy designed to give strategic direction to research of relevance to Māori.
There is a focus in the VM policy on four themes:
- Indigenous Innovation – contributing to economic growth through distinctive science and innovation
- Taiao/Environment – achieving environmental sustainability through iwi and hapū relationships with land and sea
- Hauora/Health – improving health and social well-being; and
- Mātauranga – exploring indigenous knowledge and science and innovation.
In the HVN context, the key VM stakeholders are Māori owned food and beverage (F&B) businesses aligned with HVN. Specifically, those businesses that are looking to increase exports based on validated food-health relationships. Given this emphasis, the key VM themes of most relevance to HVN are indigenous innovation and mātauranga. However there may also be outcomes and impacts relevant to the Taio and Hauora themes.
In the next five years of funding (2019-2024), HVN has targets and KPIs specific to achieving the objectives of VM and the HVN mission. These include:
- The number of Māori F&B businesses using ‘HVN capabilities’
- The number of products in HVN research from Māori-owned businesses
- The value of R&D investment in ‘HVN capabilities’ from Māori-owned businesses
- Satisfaction among Māori stakeholders with their influence on, engagement with, and value received from the Challenge.
- Proportion of Challenge leadership positions held by Māori
- Challenge funding invested in research or related activities that specifically target Māori-owned businesses needs and aspirations.
HVN Strategic focus areas
There are three focus areas that form the core of the VM strategy. These are:
1. Ngā uara: a focus on values
HVN recognises that many Māori businesses are whānau or family collaborations that, as well as having economic goals, are largely driven by social, cultural, and environmental objectives. In order to ensure that HVN is a supportive environment for our Māori researchers and that our research programmes are aligned with the holistic values of our VM stakeholders, we will continue to promote and embed a values-focus across the Challenge. This will include provision of opportunities to enhance our understanding of Te Āo Māori, including Māori values, protocols, language, and the special nature of iwi, hapū and whānau relationships to their traditional resources.
2. Effective engagement with Māori F&B stakeholders
a) To strengthen or initiate one-on-one relationships with aligned Māori F&B entities that have the scale and ability to engage directly with HVN
b) To seek engagement with a wider cross-section of Māori-owned small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with an interest in high-value nutrition, including those in regional areas; and
c) Recognising that many Māori owned F&B businesses do not have the scale, capacity, or experience for strong engagement with HVN, to continue to promote the cluster model of collaboration, incorporating learnings from the Tū Ora prototype project between HVN and the NUKU ki te Puku™ Māori business cluster.
3. Māori research capacity and capability
a) Attracting appropriately qualified Māori scientists to HVN.
HVN recognises the number of difficulties in seeking to attract qualified Māori researchers to the Challenge, which is common across the science system. HVN recognises the need to prioritise opportunities for Māori-led research and to facilitate career development and leadership pathways, leading to researcher retention and effective succession planning.
b) Contestable and priority research opportunities and mātauranga Māori.
The contestable programme for Tranche 2 incorporates a number of mechanisms to encourage involvement by a broader range of Māori entities with interest in high-value foods for health. There are three main funding rounds, and flexibility built into the funding process so that grant categories provide multiple entry points for projects that are at different stages of development. As well as the broader funds, Māori business can also participate through the Māori F&B Innovation Fund and the Emerging F&B Innovation Fund.
There are also opportunities for businesses to engage through the Priority Research Programmes. In all HVN activities, all businesses (whether Māori owned or not) will need to demonstrate consideration of VM in their proposals. All research projects that involve mātauranga Māori will also have in place: i) mandate and prior informed consent of Māori, ii) full disclosure, and iii) appropriate access, utilisation and benefit sharing arrangement.
HVN is supportive of the formation and proposed activities of Rauika Māngai – a network of senior Māori researchers across the NSCs and from Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. HVN will contribute resources to the group to support the objectives of: sharing and extending best practice approaches to VM, seeking opportunities for alignment across NSCs; building collective knowledge that contributes to gains and benefits to whānau, hapū, iwi and diverse Māori communities from NSC engagement; and providing a collective Māori voice on NSC matters.