4. Exploring the Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund – a fund directly focused on supporting Māori research, science and innovation

4.1 The small Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund (VMCF) has seen numerous projects funded between 2013 to 2020 to strengthen the capability, capacity, skills, and networks between Māori and the science and innovation system

Te Pūnaha Hikiko – Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund is one of the smallest RSI Funds (allocating approximately $2 million to new proposals each year).

It invests in the development of skilled people and organisations that plan to undertake, or are undertaking, research that supports the themes and outcomes of the Vision Mātauranga policy.

The maximum funding per successful proposal is $250,000 (excluding GST).

From 2013 to 2020 there was a total of 207 projects funded in the VMCF, worth $25 million.

A distinct feature of VMCF projects is that they are predominately Māori centred and kaupapa Māori research. For example, over the period 2018 to 2019, 29% of VMCF projects that were awarded funding indicated at least 50% of the project was Māori centred research. 23% of projects indicated that at least 50% of the project was kaupapa Māori research.

Figure 9 RSI funding Maori

Figure 9: Total awarded and the number of projects VMCF funded in each funding round, 2013 to 2020

4.2 – 48 Māori researchers played a role in VMCF projects awarded funding in 2019 and 2020

Ethnicity data was only consistently collected from 2019 – this covers 61 of the 207 VMCF projects from 2013 to 2020 above.

There was an estimated 48 individual Māori researchers listed as holding a key role in the 61 projects in VMCF for 2019 and 2020.

We estimate that no more than 15 Māori researchers are involved in VMCF projects across both years.

The 48 Māori researchers made up 23% of the 209 individual researchers listed in the VMCF projects across 2019 and 2020.

Note: ‘Researchers’ is again broadly defined here, to include all those listed as holding a role on the project. Māori researchers are those who self identified as individuals of Māori ethnicity.

Figure 10 RSI funding Maori

Figure 10: Researchers involved in projects funded in the VMCF by ethnicity, 2019 to 2020

Last updated: 19 April 2023