PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Aotearoa New Zealand - Moving to participatory science and bicultural knowledge communication

Nancy LongneckerCentre for Science Communication, University of Otago. New Zealand


  • Jean FlemingCentre for Science Communication, University of Otago   New Zealand
  • Daniel HikuroaDepartment of Maori Studies, University of Auckland   New Zealand
  • Nancy LongneckerCentre for Science Communication, University of Otago   New Zealand
  • Rhian SalmonCentre for Science in Society, Victoria University of Wellington   New Zealand
A pictorial overview is provided of development of science communication in Aotearoa New Zealand from our chapter in the 2020 book, The emergence of modern science communication, edited by T. Gascoigne. We explore aspects of the science communication ecosystem in NZ, as well as drivers behind a shift towards more participatory science and science communication. New Zealanders have a strong history of acting firmly and independently, as demonstrated by the banning of nuclear-powered or armed ships in 1984 despite the country’s strong alliance with the US. Aotearoa New Zealand’s strong kaitiaki (guardianship) ethic, especially amongst Maori, but also amongst non-Maori New Zealanders, has empowered environmental activism. For example, the successful Save Manapouri Campaign ran from 1969 to 1972; not only did it prevent the raising of the level of Lake Manapouri for construction of the Manapouri Power Project, it also influenced the results of a federal election. 

One particular aspect of interest is how NZ has moved to accept the value of indigenous knowledge ahead of other countries. Recent decades have seen a significant shift in the way in which indigenous knowledge, knowledge systems, and engagement processes are respected and incorporated into nationwide funding, research practice and public engagement., NZ has aVision Matauranga policy which recognises the potential of matauranga (Maori knowledge, culture, values and world view) and its value to current research projects.The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment holds that Vision Matauranga ‘unlocks the science and innovation potential of Maori knowledge, resources and people’ (MBIE, 2018). Matauranga and new dialogic approaches have complemented and added depth to established practices in science communication such as conferences, science festivals and social media. Maori have taken science communication in Aotearoa NZ in new directions, with an increasing emphasis on the inherent values of the science being communicated.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Category: Visual presentation
Theme: Time