Iwi/Māori have a well-recognised relationship with the natural environment which spans many centuries and is the result of interaction and adaptation with native flora and fauna of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Integral to this relationship is water which sustains life and is a taonga (treasure) with significant cultural and physical dimension. This is reflected through the on-going desire of many iwi/Māori groups to have a role in the way water is managed in New Zealand to ensure its sustainable utilisation moving forward (Kawharu, 2002). The development of scientific research tools and models that incorporate mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and te reo Māori (the Māori language) are also beneficial to iwi/Māori resource policymakers, planners and decision makers.

GNS has been collecting and compiling Māori terms on hydrology, geology and geothermal phenomena to, amongst other things, explore the contribution that traditional indigenous knowledge can make to the research outcomes and model development by identifying the cultural significance of groundwater and the associated cultural links with surface water (Tipa and Tierney, 2003, Boast, 1991). The potential benefits of creating research tools that utilise te reo Maori and mātauranga Maori (within government institutional settings) includes generating increased uptake in and familiarity with te reo Māori and exposure of te reo Māori as a minority language to broader audiences. Further research could identify gaps in the dual knowledge systems (either the western scientific knowledge paradigm, or mātauranga Māori) that could be explored as an outcome of this combined research (De Bres, 2008).

In order to provide a seamless spatial and multi-purpose view of collected groundwater related datasets, the SMART project joins forces to establish a valuable basis for groundwater analysis and decision support tools . One of the project’s objectives is to build a web-based data and knowledge portal and attached three-dimensional web visualisation tool according to OGC and ISO compliant standards (Kmoch et al., 2015, Klug et al., 2014). To support te reo Māori and mātauranga Māori within the SMART portal web mapping and catalogue application, we evaluate a multi-language concept to incorporate semantic web methodologies to map and connect English and Māori terms and descriptions of presented natural phenomena as well as metadata and descriptive text within the application (Lutz et al., 2009).

Beside a language template system for in-application- navigation use, a vocabulary web service is demonstrated to access content the thesauri, classification schemes, taxonomies, metadata and other types of controlled vocabulary and to document, link and merge concepts/terms to be with other spatial and non-spatial data (Antoine Isaac and Ed Summers, 2008). Further intentions include also a possibility to upload and geolocate orally passed on knowledge in the regard of ancient place information.

SMART Data Portal Papakupu


Klug, H., & Kmoch, A. (2014). A SMART groundwater portal: An OGC web services orchestration framework for hydrology to improve data access and visualisation in New Zealand. Computers & Geosciences, 69(0), 78–86. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2014.04.016

ANTOINE ISAAC, V. U. A. & ED SUMMERS, L. O. C. 2008. SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Primer [Online]. Available: http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/WD-skos-primer-20080221/.

BOAST, R. P. 1991. The legal framework for geothermal resources : a historical study : a report to the Waitangi Tribunal. Wai 153. Wellington: Waitangi Tribunal, 1991.

DE BRES, J. 2008. Planning for tolerability: promoting positive attitudes and behaviours towards the Māori Language among non-Māori New Zealanders. Ph. D (Linguistics). Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington.

KAWHARU, M. 2002. Whenua : managing our resources, Auckland: Reed, 2002.

LUTZ, M., J.SPRADO, E.KLIEN, C.SCHUBERT & CHRIST, I. 2009. Overcoming semantic heterogeneity in spatial data infrastructures. Computers & Geosciences, 35, 739-752.

TIPA, G. & TIERNEY, L. 2003. A Cultural health index for streams and waterways : indicators for recognising and expressing Māori values. New Zealand. Ministry for the Environment.