Digital Solutions to Support Knowledge and Connections

Project commenced:


What digital platforms could support a collective approach to Te Tai Ao?
How could this be managed; practically and using what protocols?

What are the potential uses and benefits of these platforms locally, nationally and internationally?
What are the potential Te Tai Ao future needs of iwi/hapū that need to be addressed in the digital platform considerations?
What opportunities are there for Indigenous digital solution platform that can be developed and implemented in communities?


Māori and Indigenous peoples use digital platforms in numerous ways, exploring how to learn, reconnect to, recognise, recover, protect and share mātauranga Māori.

Place-based approaches, including mapping, are particularly popular with both Māori and Indigenous peoples and present incredible opportunities to link mātauranga and narratives of the land with communities. These, in addition to the proliferation of citizen science apps, present us with a suite of new ways of knowing and understanding the natural environment.

The digital environment also presents challenges, particularly if it is seen as a way to simply ’harvest’ and preserve knowledge. Indigenous scholars argue that knowledge itself is less important than the relationships that sustain it and the ways that people use digital media varies between rangatahi, pakeke and kaumātua.

There is increasing exploration of ways to renew interest in Indigenous knowledge and protect mātauranga, necessitating discussions on issues of Indigenous sovereignty in a data-inundated world.

In this NPM platform project, our primary aim is to review Māori and Indigenous approaches to developing and establishing digital platforms; both for knowledge storage, knowledge transfer and knowledge preservation.

From this review, we will make some sound recommendations as to the most appropriate platforms for a range of varying needs. We will work with aligned themes within the Te Tai Ao theme to identify the ways in which hāpori are using digital platforms in relation to ‘taiao’.

The investigation is exploring issues of tikanga, intellectual property, data storage, sharing, knowledge building and dissemination, informing the use of digital spaces that align with iwi aspirations specifically within the Tai Ao theme.

We are also investigating processes involved in participating in observatory platforms and develop tikanga frameworks for application in digital spaces. From this exploratory work, we are developing some thinking and direction for the development of an Indigenous Digital Solutions Platform.

Developing such a tool will be transformative and enable Māori and Indigenous communities to have a key role in determining their own digital solutions for knowledge storage, preservation and dissemination.

Research Lead(s) and Team

Ngāti Tūwharetoa
Postdoctoral Fellow

Hauiti is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow based at Te Tumu - University of Otago and specialises in collecting information about waahi tapu, waahi tipuna (sacred|cultural/heritage|ancestral sites), oral narratives (moteatea - traditional songs/chants, korereo purakau - stories) and whakapapa (genealogies) embedded in ancestral landscapes and uses modern GIS mapping technology to enhance this process.

Ngaruahine Rangi Ngāti Ruanui Te Ati Awa
Senior Researcher