National Association of Māori Mathematicians Scientists and Technologists – NAMMSAT


Name: National Association of Māori Mathematicians, Scientists And Technologists
Also Known As: NAMMSAT
Entity Type: Online
Web site: 
Date Established: 1994
Date disestablished: 2009
Membership Model: Incorporated Society

A collective group of Māori practitioners who supported the increased participation and achievement by Māori in the fields of mathematics, science, engineering and technology. NAMMSAT aimed to facilitate the participation and achievement of Māori in the educational and commercial sectors, and in Research, Science and Technology (RS&T).


The whakatauki “Mākoi Pounamu, Tini Putanga kē” was given to NAMMSAT in 1994 by Prof Wharehuia Milroy (Māori Studies, Waikato University) when it ran the first Science Camp. The whakatauki refers to
the greenstone tip of a spear which is simple in shape and form, but takes time to fashion and is very precious. Although a seemingly simple object, from it comes many different outcomes. This refers to the scientific bodies of knowledge, the simplicity and complexity and the many outcomes that can be gained from this knowledge.

NAMMSAT used the following strategies to support its aims.

  • To establish and maintain a database of members;
  • To organise conferences for members as a forum for the discussion of current strategies and the
    development of further strategies;
  • To promote the sciences in all areas of education and training;
  • To promote the sciences in primary and secondary schools;
  • To target Māori students in recruitment for tertiary study in the sciences;
  • To provide links between industry and Māori students;
  • To assess and develop support for Māori students in the sciences at tertiary level;
  • To encourage the professional development of Māori teachers of science;
  • To promote and provide support for Māori in applying for mathematics, science and technology
    scholarships, fellowships and contracts;
  • To support, promote and facilitate resource development in the area of the sciences;
  • To have a role in monitoring curriculum development;
  • To promote and support the development of the Māori body of knowledge of the sciences;
  • To develop and encourage the support of the science industry for Māori;
  • To provide support for Māori currently working in the fields of science, mathematics and
  • To participate in research that is going to benefit Mäori in terms of achieving the main objective of
    the association;
  • To publish a quarterly newsletter for members;
  • To provide an avenue for the publication of members academic work;
  • To develop and promote models to encourage parental support of students participating in the
  • To expand into the international arena of education for indigenous peoples;
  • To consult with iwi in an attempt to meet iwi needs in terms of the sciences;
  • To develop and participate in liaison with similar bodies nationally and internationally.

NAMMSAT achievements

  • Three successful national conferences;
    – The first in Auckland in 1995;
    – The second in the Waikato in 1996;
    – Third conference in Palmerston North in 1997.
  • National Networks – Through NAMMSAT’s conferences and working parties to bring together
    Mäori people from all walks of life and from a large range of RS&T fields. It has an established
    network of Mäori science practitioners and a national forum for all Mäori interested in both
    western science and mātauranga Māori;
  • Publications;
    – Proceedings of Inaugural NAMMSAT conference in 1995;
    – Māori into Science, Maths, and Technology;
  • Science Camps – NAMMSAT held for Form 2 Kura Kaupapa Māori Students (35) at Waikato
    University in 1994, and as a result of this success, the Ministry of Education funded a further 2
    science camps in 1997;
  • Leadership Courses – In 1997 NAMMSAT ran a “Leadership in the Sciences” Wānanga for senior
    Māori science students;
  • Database – NAMMSAT has developed and maintains a national database of Māori involved in
    Maths, Science and Technology;
  • International Connections – NAMMSAT has developed and is continuing to maintain strong links
    with overseas indigenous groups with a similar kaupapa. For example, AISES in the United
    States, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society;
  • Curriculum Development – NAMMSAT members assisted in developing the ‘Hangarau
    (Technology) Curriculum’ in te reo Māori.


  • To organise and promote NAMMSAT as the premier national organisation representing the
    professional viewpoint of Mäori practitioners in RS&T.
  • Develop and promote NAMMSAT as an organisation of educational excellence for Mäori in western
    science and mätauranga Mäori.
  • Identify Mäori in RS&T and other kindred professional groups.
  • Continue to develop strong relationships with iwi, hapü, and Mäori organisations
  • Develop a database and a network that clearly defines a needs analysis
  • Establish a policy production process within the NAMMSAT membership
  • Organise membership to a proficient level for inclusion on various RS&T boards and committees.


Key People

It is difficult to differentiate the backgrounds of the people involved as this group was the only multi discilinary ICT related Māori group.

  • Bevan Tipene-Matua
  • Charlotte Severne
  • Garth Harmsworth
  • Joana Johnston
  • Joe Rickit
  • John Kape
  • Mark Laws
  • Meto Leach
  • Murray Parsons
  • Pauline Waiti
  • Rauru Kirikiri
  • Te Herekiekie Herewini
  • Te Rawhina McDowell