Māori and Pacific students are not achieving in science in comparison with other ethnic groups in Aotearoa New Zealand. At the same time, evidence of engagement with their traditional ways of knowing and being in university science settings is limited. Most formal science curricula globally are founded on Western modern science, and this focus can contribute to the underachievement of Indigenous students in science, particularly if Indigenous knowledge is not included (Howlett et al., 2008). Culturally sustaining pedagogy (Paris, 2012) acknowledges cultural pluralism, yet many science educators lack the cultural capital to comfortably reference Indigenous knowledge in their teaching. In this article, I describe some of the tensions, benefits and considerations that need to be acknowledged and addressed when encouraging non-Indigenous university science educators to incorporate and embed Māori and Pacific values, culture and knowledge in their teaching practice and learning spaces. This article discusses findings from a research project on embedding Indigenous knowledge, values and culture in university science teaching, with a particular focus on relationship building.