Knowledge Exchange – a unique part of our vision

Like all research centres, Ngä Pae o te Märamatanga pursues research excellence through academic communities. But our brief also extends outwards – aiming to also benefit many other communities as widely as possible. In doing this, the Knowledge Exchange programme is a unique feature of the Centre, and an essential part of achieving social transformation.

We want research to help national and regional communities, and ideally come back strengthened by them. Research can also foster new links between communities. In 2006, for example, new findings from research we funded on improved elderly care led to a new consortium of four regional hauora organisations. Several schools adapted scientific and language research for teaching purposes. Some projects brought together more than a dozen external organisations.

Clearly, we are tapping into a desire among Mäori communities for direct involvement in research that affects their lives. Success also reflects the expertise of our Knowledge Exchange team who, along with academic papers, produce an array of audio-visual materials, newsletters, and seminars to engage with as many people as possible. The conference website recorded 15,000 visitors.

Our focus is on genuine knowledge exchange, rather than the more familiar notion of knowledge transfer. Like all worthwhile exchange we see it as mutually beneficial. And we see it as building a better future for Mäori communities and New Zealand.