Mātauranga Māori: Here to stay

Ocean Mercier and Spencer Lilley discuss mātauranga Māori from different angles and mahi, including science and the heritage sector.

The recent news about the sale of a Goldie painting into private ownership has again shed light on the concerns around our responsibility to taonga and mātauranga.

Our experts Ocean Mercier and Spencer Lilley approach mātauranga Māori from different angles and mahi, including science kōrero from a kaitiakitanga perspective and representation of mātauranga Māori in the heritage sector. They invite you to look ahead to understand and appreciate what mātauranga Māori needs to survive and thrive, and to ask yourself where you stand.

Watch the recording of the webinar


  • Ocean Mercier, Head of School and Associate Professor in Te Kawa a Māui/School of Māori Studies, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington
  • Spencer Lilley, Associate Professor in the School of Information Management, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington


Ocean (Ngāti Porou) focuses on how mātauranga and science connect and relate, particularly in educational and environmental contexts. Her current research includes understanding how te taiao advocacy connects communities to place; ocean knowledge to support iwi interests; understanding groundwater with mātauranga and Māori perceptions of novel biotechnological controls of pest wasps in Aotearoa. Her research also explores Māori and Indigenous conceptions of mapping and place, and kaupapa Maori reading of films. She presented Māori Television's Project Mātauranga and TVNZ’s Coast New Zealand.

Spencer joined the School of Information Management in April 2021. He identifies as a bi-cultural New Zealander, with genealogical affiliations to Māori (Te Atiawa, Muaūpoko and Ngāpuhi), Samoa and the United Kingdom. Prior to commencing his academic and research career, he worked as a library professional for 23 years in special and academic libraries. He is a former President of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA). In recognition of his outstanding service to LIANZA and the wider library and information profession he was awarded a Fellowship in 2010. Spencer is also a founding member, and honorary life member of Te Rōpū Whakahau (Māori in Libraries and Information Management) and a professional member of the Association for Information Science & Technology.

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