"Welcome to the Mātauranga Online Learning Platform. We're here to help you tell stories.

There's the story of migration to Aotearoa from the Pacific on the great double hulled canoes, where our ancestors used the sun, the stars, and a kinship with nature to cross the largest expanse of water on the planet. There's also the story of how today's sailors walk in the footsteps of Kupe and Maui, and the science, innovation and technology of our tīpuna.

From out of these stories come questions. We have given some examples. You will have more, and so will your students. The stories are designed to inspire further discussions around STEM and mātauranga.

Our stories also fit seamlessly into the proposed curriculum for Aotearoa New Zealand's histories, and the first 'big idea' of migration and mobility. Sharing the story of perhaps the greatest migration in human history will help our tamariki on the path to critical citizenship, as understanding the past makes sense of the present and informs future decisions and actions.

We have a small team building this Platform, and are designing it so that you can share your stories with us. Join the team by sharing your experiences, and help us grow. Have fun with these learning resources; and good luck incorporating them into your own stories in the classroom."

Tā Ian Taylor

Innovator of the Year 2019

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Land of Voyagers

Our story begins with a voyage. At the same time as the Egyptians were building the pyramids, our Polynesian ancestors were traversing the vast Pacific Ocean.

To capture this triumph of navigation, Animation Research Ltd put a camera onboard the double hulled waka hourua that travelled 4000km from Tahiti to New Zealand as part of Tuia 250 commemorations. Three terabytes of footage filmed at sea became inspirational stories of science and discovery, with animations from the award-winning team responsible for creating computer graphics for the America’s Cup.

Land of Voyagers, created from a million dollar budget, is a koha, a gift to be shared with all schools in Aotearoa for free, forever. Some of the stories from Land of Voyagers are part of the Mātauranga Online Learning Platform. There are many more. Visit the Land of Voyagers website at

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Teacher Resources

Each of our story pages has it's own "Things To Do" section with activities and additional content. There are also related "Teacher Resource" pages to support your teaching in the classroom. These include everything from extension exercises, detailed instructions for simple experiments and PDF templates, to bonus video content. There are links to the Teacher Resources at the bottom of each "Things To Do" section, and right here as well:

Land of Voyagers Teacher Resources

KIWI CAN FLY - The America's Cup Teacher Resources

Achievement Objectives

Inquiry learning is at the heart of the Mātauranga Online Platform. Students form and develop a learning inquiry to investigate aspects of the topic and build a depth of understanding through questioning, thinking and research. This teaching model incorporates a variety of thinking and information literacy skills and integrates well with information technology. The learning experiences within the resource are a guide only. Teachers can adjust the activities and learning sequence to suit the needs and interests of students.

The resources in the Mātauranga Online Learning Platform can be incorporated into any curriculum area. Because of the diverse nature and interconnectedness of the subject, a cross-curricular approach provides different learning opportunities.

Some suggested links to the curriculum for the Learning Platform are listed below:

  • share ideas about how and why their own and others' works are made and their purpose, value, and context (Level 1 - 2)
  • investigate the purpose of objects and images from past and present cultures and identify the contexts in which they were or are made, viewed, and valued (L3-4)
  • explore and use art-making conventions, applying knowledge of elements and selected principles through the use of materials and processes (L1-4)
  • construct texts that demonstrate a growing awareness of audience and purpose through appropriate choice of content, language, and text form (L2-3)
  • form and express ideas and information with increased clarity, drawing on a range of sources (L3)
  • create a range of texts by integrating sources of information and processing strategies with increasing confidence (L4)
  • Extend personal experiences and personal explanations of the natural world through exploration, play, asking questions, and discussing simple models. (L1-2)
  • Appreciate that science is a way of explaining the world and that science knowledge changes over time (L3-4)
  • Explore, describe, and represent patterns and trends for everyday examples of physical phenomena, such as movement, forces, electricity and magnetism, light, sound, waves, and heat. (L4)
  • Understand how time and change affect people’s lives (L2)
  • Understand how early Polynesian and British migrations to New Zealand have continuing significance for tangata whenua and communities. (L3)
  • Understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places, and environments. (L4)
  • Understand that there is a relationship between a material used and its performance properties in a technological product. (L2)
  • Understand how society and environments impact on and are influenced by technology in historical and contemporary contexts and that technological knowledge is validated by successful function. (L3)
  • Understand how technological development expands human possibilities and how technology draws on knowledge from a wide range of disciplines. (L4)
  • Create and use appropriate units and devices to measure length, area, volume and capacity, weight (mass), turn (angle), temperature, and time. (L2)
  • Create and use simple maps to show position and direction. (L2)
  • Describe different views and pathways from locations on a map. (L2)

Project Based Learning Case Study

In the first term of 2021, Kaikorai Primary School in Dunedin asked the kids "How can we as storytellers tell the amazing story of Pacific Migration?". Inspired by material they found on this website and Land of Voyagers, the students displayed the results of their Project Based Learning in the school hall.

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Mātauranga Museum

Check out a selection of the Project Based Learning created by students from Year One to Year Six.

A popular area of study for the children was waka building, allowing for lots of prototyping and feedback from both peers and experts. Different classes used different construction materials for their waka, including polystyrene, cork, and iterations the 3D printer.

Students also used Makey Makeys and Scratch to explain the Polynesian migration, while other topics investigated include: bird migration (including GPS), wind and water currents, food preservation, celestial navigation, storytelling and waiata.

Download the 2021 Kaikorai Primary School Voyages PBL - Senior unit plan

Download the 2021 Kaikorai Primary School Voyages PBL - Middles unit plan

Download the 2021 Kaikorai Primary School Voyages PBL - Juniors unit plan

Download the 2021 Kaikorai Primary School Voyages PBL - code for Scratch interactive picture


We would love to hear your feedback about Mātauranga. E-mail

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Ake Mai - Jump Aboard