An associate professor at Massey University, who's spent nearly 20 years researching gifted and talented Maori students, says she's noticed a huge change in the classroom environment since she began her work in 1993.
Jill Bevan-Brown's research has included children from pre-school age to those at secondary school.
She says there's been wonderful progress in the education system, which is now much more geared to recognising gifted Maori students.
Dr Bevan-Brown says when she tried to enlist support for her first research project, staff at both the then Departments of Education and Maori Affairs, looked at her blankly.
She says now any research done into gifted children must include a Maori component as of right.
Her research has found that for Maori students social giftedness and manaakitanga (kindness or hospitality) is just as important as being gifted in maths.