This website has changed. We hope you can find what you need easily, but items have moved around. If you have trouble finding what you are looking for please let us know.

Contact us

Ngā Hōtaka Rangahau Whaipānga ki te Māori

Māori Impact Research Programmes

We are partnering with iwi and hapū combining knowledge systems to achieve local aspirations with regards to water and increasing the wellbeing of our communities and the environment.

Māori impact 1

He Wai Māpuna

He Wai Māpuna

Maiae, mapuna mai te wai mauri tapu ki te whaiao ki te ao marama
Maiae, mapuna mai te wai pupu ake i te whenua e!
Maiae, mapuna mai te oranga o te tāngata e!


He Wai Māpuna, is a unique enterprise-wide approach providing wai based science delivery to iwi and investment in iwi to grow distinct iwi knowledge. He Wai Māpuna delivers modern science and supports the development of Mātauranga Māori that makes a positive impact on wai. We are focused on providing relevant science and technology solutions and capability directly into community using a dual knowledge approach of mātauranga Māori and modern science.

Developed in 2020, He Wai Māpuna is underpinned by our Māori impact strategy, He Pūtaiao, He Tāngata. Ensuring there is a collaborative, coordinated and investment driven approach to iwi, hapū and whānau, and in Mātauranga Māori, is important to us. This programme sits in our Māori Impact Group, who have a key focus on Māori led programmes, Māori capability, capacity, and leadership and mātauranga Māori. 

He Wai Māpuna partners with Māori by supporting two methods of delivery, the first focuses on iwi, hapū and whānau requested rohe based solutions. Ensuring relevant and timely modern science is delivered directly into communities is important to us. The second focus is a prescribed science offering, led by He Wai Māpuna via Māori Impact, that identifies and develops science outputs relevant to Māori needs across the motu with a kaupapa Māori approach.

Having built strong partnerships since its inception, we focus on the delivery of ESR science capability rather than an engagement model with Māori. We are driven by the opportunity to make an impact in communities. From investigating the impacts of groundwater and drinking water, to modelling and visualising wai, we believe that community empowerment is vital.For Māori, by Māori, with a kaupapa Māori approach is at the core of how we work. Taking an 
intergenerational rather than transactional application, we are focused on ensuring science and data insights are tailored to community and provide desired impacts. We place a focus on visualising findings through kaupapa Māori platforms and content generation, to build capability amongst all whānau members including GIS visualisations through Takiwā.

Te Hāpai Ō

Te Hāpai Ō

Te Hāpai Ō is a food safety project with a primary focus on the well-being of mahinga kai and food safety within customary protection areas. This initiative collaborates closely with iwi, hapū, and Māori communities to address a central question: Is our kai safe to eat? It combines ESR's expertise in food safety science with a culturally grounded approach from Māori Impact to align with the priorities of iwi and hapū.

In times of emergency contamination events, Te Hāpai Ō steps in to develop tools that facilitate quick responses, ensuring the safety of our communities and the preservation of our harvesting practices. This commitment goes beyond the present generation, striving to protect these traditions for future generations. As the climate changes, food security faces new challenges, including elevated food safety risks. Scientists anticipate the emergence of pathogens that threaten recreational food harvesting, a concern that Te Hāpai Ō is actively addressing.

Te Hāpai Ō's work includes addressing potential food related outbreaks of illness in mahinga kai in Aotearoa, with outbreaks linked to seafood consumption in both Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island) and Te Waipounamu (South Island). The warmer waters driven by climate change create ideal conditions for the proliferation of some pathogens. In response to increasing risks, Te Hāpai Ō is researching alternative methods to promptly detect the presence of pathogens, in aim to empower harvesters with crucial information about the safety of their mahinga kai. 

He Ō Uta, He Ō Tai

He Ō Uta, He Ō Tai

He Ō Uta, He Ō Tai is focused on increasing the number of Māori in STEMM in Aotearoa New Zealand. He Ō Uta, He Ō Tai supports STEMM as Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Mātauranga Māori. A key partnership for our programme is Pūhoro STEMM Academy, the largest Māori led STEMM Academy in Aotearoa New Zealand. As a Pūhoro Nationwide Partner, we directly support the development of rangatahi and tauira Māori through exposure to relevant and impactful science. It is the intent of Pūhoro and ESR that this early exposure will increase the number of Māori secondary students progressing through to tertiary institutions and that some of these students will pursue science pathways.

ESR supports Pūhoro through delivering interactive sessions on Forensic Science and Genomics at their wānanga series, in providing scholarships through the ESR and Pūhoro Charitable Trust Scholarship and in supporting tauira Māori with mentoring sessions regarding study pathways to success. Through this partnership, we aim to empower and inspire the next generation of Māori scientists and innovators, enriching the science system with diverse perspectives and expertise.