Both Kaupapa and Matauranga are prominent in Maori education and research circles. They appear in a wide variety of contexts to articulate and advance certain aspects of Maori education and development. They both are generally utilized to support activities designed to generate benefits for Maori and to give expression to Maori ways of doing things, aspects of Maori knowledge and the Maori world view. the meanings of Kaupapa and Matauranga them-self overlap but are not synonyms of each-other.
Kaupapa Maori is popularly used by Maori in a farely broad way that refers to any plan of action created by Maori expressing aspirations and certain values and principles. Tikanga Maori and cultural behaviors through Kaupapa are made tangible. Kaupapa generally appears in educational settings like health providers or a Marae. Popular since the 19th century. A key aspect is the political notion of challenging the privileging of western knowledge in the academy purposefully to allow Maori knowledge.
Matauranga Maori is to not be confused with Kaupapa because it doesnt refer to any kind of methodology or set of explicit actions or goals. Matauranga Maori is a modern phrase referring to a body or continuum of knowledge with Polynesian origins that survive to the present day. The arrival of Europeans in the 18th – 20th century brought in a major impact to the life of the knowledge endangering it in many ways. Knowledge was then recreated through the encounter of the Europeans and the experience of the new Notion of New Zealand.
The difference between Kaupapa Maori and Kaupapa Maori in the absence of explicit interest in the ethnic category in Matauranga Maori. Maori history was not always used to refer to maori people but something that naturally and organically comes to life.Matauranga Maori does not suggest any actions on the way that Kaupapa Maori suggests a plan of action. Matauranga is jut a label of a body of knowledge. Not what we would do with it.
Te Ahukararamu Charles Royal, Politics and Knowledge: Kaupapa and Matauranga Maori