We are creating the foundations for flourishing Māori futures


Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Showcase Video 2020 on Vimeo.


Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) is New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and hosted by The University of Auckland

NPM has 21 partner research entities, conducting research of relevance to Māori communities and is an important vehicle by which Aotearoa New Zealand continues to be a key player in global Indigenous research and affairs. The centre's research is driven by its vision of creating the foundations for flourishing Māori futures and it is focused on bringing positive change and transformation to the nation, and the wider world.

Whāia ngā pae o te māramatanga Ko te pae tawhiti, whāia kia tata Ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tina E puta ai ki te whaiao, ki te ao mārama!

Ta Mason Durie“Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is well named - a research platform enabling Māori researchers to flourish, bringing light to where there was darkness.” (Ruānuku Tā Mason Durie, 2020)



NPM commenced a new CoRE contract in January 2021, which helps fund and support NPM through to 2028  - and continues the legacy built since 2002.

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Our name

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga was first established in 2002 with the founding Joint Director's - Professors Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Michael Walker. Professor Sir Hirini Moko Mead named the centre "Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga", one that references the following whakatauki or proverb.


Whāia ngā pae o te māramatanga

Ko te pae tawhiti, whāia kia tata

Ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tina

E puta ai ki te whaiao, ki te ao mārama!

Pursue the many horizons of insight,

Bring each one closer,

Master them and emerge enlightened!

Our name inspires the excellence within us as we seek out and master the many horizons of knowledge available to us.



From 2002

In the period 2002 to 2010, the centre focused on addressing disparities in Māori participation and success in tertiary education and research training. One of our initial goals was to attain a total of 500 Māori PhDs (completed and enrolled), and over subsequent years successful participation in doctoral programmes rapidly increased to the point that a total of 703 Māori PhD students had either completed or enrolled as at 2010. The goal was achieved and that success continues in our national Māori and Indigenous Post-graduate programme, MAI Te Kupenga. With our national grants and awards programme, we have supported over 1517 Māori and Indigenous students and researchers working in the field of Indigenous (Māori) research and flourishing futures.

Read more about the history of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga in this article

Ruru, J., Nikora, L. W., McIntosh, T., Patrick, D., & Kukutai, T. (2019). Whāia ngā pae o te māramatanga: our horizons of pursuit. New Zealand Science Review, 75(4), 74–79. https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/13414


Ngahuia Te Awekotuku"NPM offers creative, visionary, and constructive ways forward, merging traditional knowledge with strategic contemporary solutions, hei huarahi atu…tihei mauri ora" (Ruānuku Professor Emerita Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, 2020).



To 2021

In 2021, we have implemented a new research strategy significantly different in design to previous NPM research programmes. This new focus comprises a suite of research programmes guided by four Māori excellence platforms (Pae) and four critical research questions (Pātai). Two strategies (Rautaki) support the continuing excellence (Kounga) of our researchers and students, and ensure our research is transformational (Whakaaweawe).

Our entire research programme and activities are Māori designed and Māori led, and brings together mātauranga Māori and discipline knowledge to create transformative solutions responsive and meaningful to our communities.

Tipene O'Regan“The capacity of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga to advance the evolution of Maori understanding not just of Te Ao Māori but of the wider range of intellectual endeavour is unequalled” Ruānuku Tā Tipene O’Reagan (2020).

We deliver a wide range of opportunities and activities: from support to Māori researchers to pursue research, to opportunities for Māori students to work alongside excellent senior Māori researchers. We partner with Māori communities, other centres of research excellence, crown research institutes, government ministries and philanthropic organisations to realise our mission. In this objective, the success of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga rests firmly on our values left to us by our ancestors.

Rangatiratanga - Leading with integrity and commitment to our people.

Kaitiakitanga - Caring responsibly for each other, the planet and future generations.

Manaakitanga - Respecting all life forces.

Whanaungatanga - Building genuine and meaningful relationships.