The Māori and Indigenous (MAI) programme is for the enhancement of Māori and indigenous post-graduate students throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. This national network of key sites forms an integral part of Te Pae Whakatairanga Hiranga, the Capability Building programme of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.


  • Facilitate transitions across different levels of the tertiary education system.
  • Increase the number of earned research degrees; qualified and skilled researchers; and quality academic teachers and supervisors.
  • Establish and maintain a national network of Māori doctoral students and researchers.
  • Enhance institutional infrastructures to strengthen the capacity for Māori and indigenous development research.
  • Strengthen the capacity of researchers and Māori communities to engage with and learn from one another.
  • Facilitate national and international networking and collaboration.
  • Support the development of career and leadership-related skills.
  • Foster the development of policy formation and policy implementation skills.


  • A support and mentoring programme for individuals through the national MAI network; facilitating the development of research capability and capacity through curriculum links, infrastructure and strategic planning.
  • Courses, seminars, lectures, conferences, retreats and workshops that are specifically designed for pre-doctoral through to post-doctoral levels and beyond.
  • A system of grants and fellowships that ranges through all levels of the programme.
  • Career and leadership training.
  • International study and research opportunities.


The programme’s origins go back to the 1990s when Professors Graham and Linda Smith began regular mentoring sessions for Māori post-graduate students at The University of Auckland. While similar initiatives were under development in other parts of the country, it was the establishment of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga as a Centre of Research Excellence in 2002 and the guidance of Professor Linda Smith that has facilitated the development of Te Kupenga o MAI, the national network.

Related activities and initiatives

MAI Doctoral Conference
Every year a conference is hosted by one of the MAI sites, and is an opportunity for emerging Māori scholars to present papers in a supportive forum, and meet with other doctoral candidates and established academics. The 2018 Conference will be hosted by MAI ki Aronui 8-11 November 2018, more details will be available soon.

Te Hononga Pūkenga
This directory connects Māori and non-Māori scholars who are engaged in indigenous research. It is also a knowledge resource about doctoral students and their research areas, and established researchers and their projects. The directory has value for researchers at all levels, for iwi, hapū and whānau, for the tertiary education sector, and for government agencies and other stakeholders.

MAI Journal
MAI Journal: A New Zealand Journal of Indigenous Scholarship is a Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga peer-reviewed open access scholarly journal of New Zealand and a sister publication to AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, launched in 2012. MAI Journal publishes multidisciplinary peer-reviewed articles around indigenous knowledge and development in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand, and accepts article submissions all year round. This journal has evolved from MAI Review which is archived online.

Please Contact us for any enquiries.