1. A snapshot of funding being awarded to Māori

1.1 The big picture – many projects indicate relevance to Māori RSI or alignment with Vision Mātauranga, but only a small proportion were described as kaupapa Māori research. Much is still unknown and poorly identified.

Across the Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund (VMCF), Endeavour, National Science Challenges (NSC), Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF), and Marsden Fund, there were a total of 1,824 individual projects. Of these 1,087 (or 60% of) projects noted they had some relevance to Māori research, science, and innovation, or alignment with Vision Mātauranga.

Collectively these projects were awarded $1.02 million across 2018 to 2020 – 57% of the total amount awarded for these funds and 52% of all funding awarded across the 8 funds presented here.

This is a high proportion; however closer analysis reveals that this relevance is not necessarily evidenced or clear.

Only a small proportion of projects that had alignment to Māori RSI are noted as kaupapa Māori research. These projects across VMCF, Endeavour, NSC, and SSIF were worth. $52 million – 3.4% of the $1.5 billion awarded across these funds (and just 2.6% of all funding awarded).

Much remains unknown about the relevance to Māori RSI for key funds. Even within funds where this information is asked for, significant inconsistencies in question interpretation and data collection remain.

Figure 1 RSI funding Maori

Figure 1: Total funding awarded by alignment breakdown, 2018 to 2020

1.2 Low numbers of Māori researchers playing a key role in projects awarded funding in 2019 and 2020

Across the VMCF, Endeavour and Catalyst funds, there were a total of 97 individual Māori researchers estimated to have played a key role in projects that were awarded funding across 2019 and 2020.

This compares to the total of 1,132 individual researchers in these funds. Projects where Māori researches were noted as key personnel were worth a total of $277 million.

The proportion of researchers that are Māori in this data, is similar to findings from recent RSI workforce surveys. Māori are generally underrepresented in the RSI workforce compared to the overall Māori population share of 17%.

Figure 2 RSI funding Maori

Figure 2: Proportion of individual Māori researchers in VMCF, Endeavour and Catalyst funded projects, 2019 to 2020

Figure 3 RSI funding Maori

Figure 3: Researchers by ethnicity and fund, 2019 to 2020

Last updated: 20 April 2023