About Us

Who are we?

Mātai is a prominent not-for-profit research and innovation center located in Gisborne-Tairāwhiti, New Zealand. Established in October 2020, Mātai has become a leading force in medical imaging, with a state-of-the-art GE 3-Tesla MRI machine and a team of experts.  


Through collaborations with academic and industrial partners, as well as researchers, scientists, clinicians, and Māori-led organisations, Mātai aims to improve health and well-being locally and globally, while also creating new educational opportunities. 


The core focus of Mātai is to enhance the capabilities of medical imaging through the use of advanced software, post-processing techniques, and artificial intelligence. By doing so, Mātai seeks to advance preventative and predictive approaches through medical innovation and discovery.  


The strength of Mātai lies in the ideas, expertise, and collaborative efforts of its team. Positioned as a leader in medical research, Mātai drives innovation and strives to make a lasting impact on healthcare, social issues, education, and economic outcomes. 

Mātai actively supports the community by offering a pipeline and opportunities for students throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. This includes mentorship and hands-on experiences in medical research, imaging, innovation, and Matauranga Māori. The atmosphere at Mātai is vibrant and supportive, catering to innovators, scientists, students, scholars, and medical and health professionals.  


As part of its mission, Mātai leads various research programs and clinical pathways. These range from improving the diagnosis of brain diseases to developing better pathways for prostate cancer diagnosis. The Mātai imaging facilities and expertise are utilised alongside a local, national, and international network to drive research that addresses the health needs of the local community. 


Mātai benefits from experienced governance and advisory boards, as well as a collaborative network of 32 affiliate faculty advisors and a growing number of medical research, scientific, and engineering advisors. This network includes world leaders in various disciplines, all committed to collaborating on a range of medical research projects. 

Our Vision

Empowering people through world-leading medical research.

Our Mission

Science / Research

– World-leading, outcomes-driven medical research.

– Cutting edge technology and techniques.

– Promote national and international collaboration.

– Empower Māori and provincial research opportunities.

– Support generational change in health and wellbeing.


– Education and career pipeline across medical, clinical, and scientific research.


– Create a campus that is a place of national pride for our people and community. 

– Provide a safe, positive, welcoming place for people to connect across research and education.

– Broaden the economic base for the region into fields of medicine, science, and technology.

– Open doors to high-tech medical businesses and investments in medical science and health technology.

Ngā Pou

Our Strategic Priorities



Mātai Puna

Research and Innovation


Health and Wellbeing


We would like to acknowledge, with appreciation, our supporters who made the establishment of Mātai possible, all those who are supporting our journey of discovery. A special note of thanks goes to Mark Kopua for his gift of our name and whakatauāki. 

Major Supporters

Kānoa, Trust Tairāwhiti, the JN and HB Williams Foundation, Mangatawa Beale Williams Memorial Trust, GE Healthcare, Dame Bronwen and Dr Peter Holdsworth Trust, Lottery Significant Projects Fund, Hugh Green Foundation, Pultron Composites Limited, the University of Auckland, and Quest Trust.

Research Project & Education Funding

Fred Lewis Enterprise Foundation, QUEST Trust, Neurological Foundation, Turanga Health, Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK), MBIE Catalyst Fund, Centre for Brain Research (CBR), University of Auckland Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences (FMHS), National institutes of health (NIH – USA), Health Research Council, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), Marsden Foundation. 

In-kind Support

Chapman Tripp, Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), Malaghan Institute, ESR, Te Whatu Ora Tairāwhiti, Brain Research New Zealand (BRNZ), Ngāti Porou Hauora, Gisborne Holdings Ltd, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Business Success Partners NZ Ltd, Coates Associates Gisborne, Centre for Advanced MRI (CAMRI).

Other Support

We wish to acknowledge our local iwi, our community, who participate in our research and are involved in supporting Mātai in many different ways including our board members, Ngā Mangai Māori, Friends of Mātai, Rongowhakaata, Kahui Pakeke, our research and scientific advisory boards, affiliate faculty advisors, scientific, engineering & research advisors who devote significant time and expertise to Mātai.

Staff Members
Research Fellows
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Affiliate Advisors