The mātauranga Māori project is focused on building a uniquely Māori framework to address Construction 4.0.

So far, we have introduced our over-arching data connectivity standardisation research theme and our three research programs (circular design, smart construction and monitoring 4.0) – we have three more to overview – Mātauranga Māori and construction 4.0, technology transfer and sustainability.

The  Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and construction 4.0 research aims to address the gap of knowledge that exists between Construction 4.0 and Mātauranga Māori by building a uniquely Māori framework to address the challenges of Construction 4.0. This will create new knowledge domestically and will sit internationally as an example of indigenous knowledge being incorporated into sectoral transformation.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Architecture and Future Environments, Co-Head Huri te Ao Hoahoanga.

The Mātauranga Māori and Construction 4.0 research theme is led by Assistant Professor Fleur Palmer, Architecture and Future Environments at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and Co-Head, Huri te Ao Hoahoanga.

Fleur has been instrumental in developing the new architecture programme for AUT aimed at promoting mātauranga Māori. As a Māori female architect, she pioneered the generate visualisations of future development to reflect Mātauranga Māori, and she is a vital role model for other women and Māori who work and study in design-related fields.

She is supported by Dr. Mahonri Owen who was instrumental in developing the first concepts for this research theme while he was employed by Pūhoro STEMM, and and Dr. Kris Roy – both of whom are based at the University of Waikato.


Developing sectoral transformation that imbeds Māori world views

Te Ao Māori (Māori world views) frameworks require a set of whare kōrero (schools of learning, places where traditional narratives and knowledge are taught) developed specifically from a Māori perspective. The framework developed will consider the influence of Construction 4.0 on Te Whare Tapu Whā (Māori model of health), that incorporates:

  • taha tinana (physical wellbeing);
  • taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing);
  • taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing); and
  • taha whanau (family and social wellbeing).


The research aim is to bring Mātauranga Māori to light by investigating the interface between Mātauranga Māori and Construction 4.0 to build a transformational and new paradigm around Construction 4.0 in Aotearoa without compromising the integrity of tuhonotanga (attachment, joining, link), ngakaupono (honestly, good faith) and ukaipotanga (originating from mother/real home, sustaining) as the guiding whare kōrero of the Mātauranga Māori theme.


The development of Māori research themes

The Mātauranga Māori theme will develop the research themes Whai Painga and Te Takere framework with specific relation to Construction 4.0.

  • Whai Painga, meaning to nourish, value, benefit; and
  • Te Takere, to be partly filled.


Exploration of the Mātauranga Māori interface and Construction 4.0

This will include an investigation of the challenges of navigating through the paradigm differences of Construction 4.0 and Mātauranga Māori. It will lead to the development and production of bi-lingual (English and Te Reo Māori) articles addressing challenges and synergies.


Dissemination and protocol adjustments

This will ensure that deliverables from all research programs and themes will be suited for knowledge adoption in Te Ao Māori Environments.

This will include the development of protocols required to appease and satisfy the Māori world view.

This is a really exciting program of work and one where we see Māori perspectives being readily incorporated. For example, we can see opportunities to include pūrākau (legends and myths) of nga atua (Māori gods and supernatural beings) to natural phenomena. This would include interfacing references to Tāwhirimātea (the God of weather) and Rūaumoko (the God of earthquakes) in how we reference natural phenomena that influence construction in Aotearoa. There are many opportunities where the two world views and resultant knowledge can sit side-by-side without either being compromised.

Project team
Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Architecture and Future Environments, Co-Head Huri te Ao Hoahoanga. Te Rarawa | Te Aupōuri | Ngāti Awa o Tāmaki Makaurau
University of Waikato Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Mahonri Owen. Ngāpuhi | Ngāti Tūwharetoa
University of Waikato Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Dr Kris Roy.