January 25, 2023
Kawakawa research findings stay with Māori
A University of Auckland scientist says a collaboration with Nelson’s Wakatū Incorporation to identify potential health-giving compounds in kawakawa ensures the traditional owners of that knowledge can benefit from it.
Dr Chris Pook from the Liggins Institute says the project has identified many of the compounds which have made the peppery tree a staple of traditional Māori medicine.
He says Wakatū is keen to use the research to develop nutritional and pharmaceutical products.
“One of criteria for entering into collaboration with Wakatū was that we would devolve all the intellectual property generated from this project back to them and they would be kaitiaki of that. We have an IP agreement in place that would formalise that role,” he says.
Dr Pook says the agreement sets a model for future collaborations between iwi and science entities and aligns with a United Nations directive that indigenous people are to benefit from their tradition knowledge..