The Māui Lab

The Māui Lab is a partnership between Aotahi-School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, Ngāi Tahu Research Centre and Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor Māori at the University of Canterbury.

Visit the Māui Lab website.

Our goals and vision

We want students to have the same courage to undertake real world projects while they are at university. The Māui lab offers a range of scholarship and consulting opportunities. Students will develop a variety of transferable skills which they can then refine before entering the workplace.

We have a simple recipe

  • Our communities have big aspirations and limited resources
  • Our students want to work on real projects that have meaning for our people
  • We join the dots: serve our people, grow our tauira, create next generation solutions

The Māui Lab is named after the great problem solver and solution builder Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga. Māui epitomises our goals:

  • Work on the challenges that matter most to our people
  • Create bold solutions
  • Repeat

Our three core directions

Consulting services

We harness the brain-power of our academic team to offer consulting services to our community. Every consulting team will also include students, so that they get professional experience and a little extra cash in their pocket. We specialise in innovation, policy, strategy, facilitation, community development, education, te reo and beyond. We can bring in experts from across UC, so that no matter what your project is, you can rely on having a super smart team led by Māori to serve our people.

Research partnerships

We partner with our people on research they want done, to ask the questions you want asked, consolidate evidence for you or build the case for whatever it is that you want to do.

Broker and manage internship projects

Internship projects are our favourite win-win. Our community can bring us anything on their wish list or to do list, and we will manage a team of students to deliver. This is a win-win because our community gets a free team of professionally managed smart and enthusiastic students. Our students get to make their learning real, have experiences that will shape and inspire them, gain course credit and put something on their CV that will distinguish them.

Our internships are a win-win: our people get things they want done and students get experiences that inspire, shape and grow them.

We do internships in a unique way. We work with the Māori community to understand what they want done, then we bring together a team of students to work on a project. Our students get to work on real world projects that our communities want delivered, with whānau support through their team.

Some of our internship projects to date have included working with a local marae to create a long term vision for their future. Our team of students had the opportunity to be on the marae, listening to kaumātua talking about their memories, hopes and dreams, and turning that kōrero into a plan for their future. Our students had the opportunity to learn about marae development, how to run hui at marae and how to create a development plan. There was also some great kai!

Another project focused on strengthening tino rangatiratanga at the community level. Tino rangatiratanga, or self-determination, starts with our people charting their own destiny. This project is ongoing, and is a is a hope project, dedicated to collecting Māori aspirations. Students had the opportunity to learn about how social and cultural capital can build and sustain communities, while working up how to create a real world project to actually collect our communities’ hopes and aspirations.

Find out more

Contact one of our staff members for more information.

Unaiki Melrose

Ngāti Kauwhata / Ngāti Raukawa

FX Academic (Teaching)
Internal Phone: 92236