The Harakeke Project at Industrial Research
In 2007 Stephen Tauwhare, a research scientist at Industrial Research Limited (now incorporated into Callaghan Innovation), participated in a video conference with four secondary schools to talk about the Harakeke Project at Industrial Research Limited and how scientific knowledge can be combined with traditional Māori knowledge.
Watch clips of Stephen talking about:
- How harakeke is used, and may be used in the future
- The way scientists can work with Māori communities to develop new knowledge together
- Dunstan High School, Alexandra
- Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tamaki Nui ā-Rua, Dannevirke
- Te Kura Kaupapa o Hoani Waititi Marae, Auckland
- Te Kura Kaupapa Ruamata, Rotorua
This video conference was organised in conjunction with Futureintech facilitators, who work with schools and students to engage industry support.
The Royal Society of New Zealand's Harakeke Flax publication (which is part of the Alpha series) describes the history of harakeke and its continued influence on New Zealand society.
The Harakeke Project focused on investigating commercial uses for harakeke, or New Zealand flax.
There are two specific species of harakeke within the genus.
Harakeke, or flax, is unique to New Zealand and Norfolk Island.
The properties of harakeke were discovered by Māori when they migrated to New Zealand from the Pacific Islands
Traditionally, Māori considered the harakeke plant to have medicinal properties and used it, for example, to treat wounds.
The gel from the harakeke, or flax, has many uses.
The harakeke plant is a valuable resource and many products can be made from it, including textiles and cosmetics.
The Harakeke Project at Industrial Research Limited valued both traditional Māori knowledge and new scientific insights.
Industrial Research Limited work closely with New Zealand Māori on the Harakeke Project, bringing together traditional Māori knowledge and science.
Stephen Tauwhare explains why he became a scientist.