The director of a centre for research excellence at Auckland University says the low aspirations which many Maori communities have need to be changed.
Professor Charles Royal from Nga Pae o te Maramatanga was one of five speakers who discussed science and the emerging Maori economy, at the Royal Society's recent Transit of Venus Science Forum in Gisborne.
He says the centre is keen to find ways to increase the scale and the amount of energy which Maori communities have for improving their economic base.
Mr Royal says it's looking for a creative and positive tino rangatiratanga, one that makes positive contributions to the life of New Zealand.
He says in order to achieve the goal there needs to be a sustained investment by the Government along with iwi and Maori community organisations.