Māori and Pasifika Engineering Research Centre (MPERC)

We promote the integration of Mātauranga Māori and Pasifika knowledge with engineering disciplines to support the indigenous communities in Aotearoa and Pacific Island countries.

There are pressing engineering issues across Aotearoa and the Pacific region, such as the increase in frequency and intensity of natural hazards and the growing impact of climate change. These issues affect the Māori and Pacific communities.

Māori and Pasifika worldviews, engineering knowledge and research methodologies can enhance engineering research and capability that address those issues. We aim to achieve the following Kaupapa:

  • Recognise and emphasise the importance and place of Mātauranga Māori and Pasifika knowledge systems in contemporary engineering research in Aotearoa and the Pacific region
  • Develop a transdisciplinary research system that initiates, enhances and maintains the integrity of Māori and Pasifika Knowledge within engineering research
  • Collaboration between Māori and Pasifika Research – Shared benefits and learning
  • To provide synergy in engineering research activities in Aotearoa and the Pacific region
  • Align engineering research activities in the faculty to strengthen the capacity of researchers to undertake research activities relevant to Tangata Whenua and Tangata Pasifika
  • Grow, maintain and support Māori and Pasifika engineering students and researchers
  • Seek Research Funding and conduct practical research activities

Our research

The centre will conduct research activities that address engineering issues in our communities. In our first few years we will prioritize water, climate change adaptation, cultural engineering and decision-making, earthquakes, tsunamis, natural disasters, renewable energy and humanitarian engineering. 

We recognise the benefits produced through transdisciplinary research and engagement, which is why multiple academic and non-academic stakeholders interact within the centre. Engineers and scientists from different disciplines will work with Māori and Pacific communities to discover innovative ideas that address the needs of society. 

How can you work with us?

  1. Connect with us. We connect with communities to determine their research needs through hui and engagement events.
  2. Work with us. We work with government agencies, industry groups and stakeholders on research that benefit Māori and Pacific communities.
  3. Study with us. We are constantly promoting pathways for Māori and Pasifika students into undergraduate and postgraduate study. We want to increase Māori and Pasifika resilience by adequately preparing future generations.

Our people

Our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The centre aims to directly promote and enact article two of Te Tiriti by working with communities to enable rangatiratanga, actively working alongside whānau, hapū and iwi to realise aspirations for their rohe. The centre has Dr Tūmanako Fa'aui as the co-director, a Māori ECR with growing experience in working with Māori communities and has existing relationships with iwi and hapū across Aotearoa through ongoing research work and whakapapa. 

The centre will provide a hub for Māori and Pasifika researchers to support and nurture Māori and Pasifika research excellence while assisting non-Māori/Pasifika within the faculty and research centre to meaningfully engage and collaborate with Tangata Whenua, further expanding and maintaining relationships. 

A key aspect of the centre is promoting pathways for Māori and Pasifika students into postgraduate study, especially for contexts and opportunities where students and staff can research within the rohe they whakapapa to. External Māori academic advisors have been approached to tautoko and guide the research centre, with further aspirations to expand this to include community members.