Whakarewarewa is proud to partner with the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. In our partnership we will look at how to use materials science to better understand the natural colours of geothermal rocks and waters at the Whakarewarewa Village and surrounding areas within the Taupō volcanic zone.
Roto Kanapanapa (Lake Kanapanapa), which is here at Whakarewarewa, is infused with a mixture of geothermal minerals, this lake is green in colour and has a warm ambient temperature. Hot springs form when heated water emerges through cracks in the Earth’s surface. It’s the different types of bacteria that give the spring its prismatic colours.
Through the partnership with MacDiarmid we can work with traditional and scientific knowledge to learn more about the colours in the rocks and waters of Whakarewarewa and surrounding areas. This project will, in turn, provide new knowledge where skills and experiences can be shared with schools, and relevant curriculum-linked activities based on the themes of mātauranga and science in practice. For us and MacDiarmid, this is all about bringing the stories, the legends, the waiata and the science together.
The work will include chemical analysis of trace elements, and the study of the crystalline structures of the materials. The project will also incorporate and explore synergies between the two knowledge systems of mātauranga Māori and western science.
The research findings and experience from the joint project between Whakarewarewa and MacDairmaid will be shared openly and a range of communication and knowledge transfer mechanisms with be utilised. Wānanga will be held at the village to transfer knowledge that will in turn be passed on to visitors through the on-going guiding legacy. Educational resources and information collateral (e.g. audio-visual, media, printed material) will be developed and made available through Te Mātāpuna o Papatūānuku, GNS Science – Whakarewarewa facility and online on the MacDiarmid Institute website.