Step one - Kia Tupato
Why do you need to consider responsiveness to Māori in your research?
Treaty of Waitangi obligations:
All researchers must acknowledge Māori as tangata whenua. This involves consideration of the Treaty principles of partnership, equity (protection) and participation, and respect for mana, tikanga and Māori values. As the National Ethics Committee states, “All health research carried out in Aotearoa is of relevance to Māori. How relevant, is a decision to be made by Māori.” Importantly, describing the context and the relevance of the proposed research to Māori will serve as a prerequisite for determining the scope and kind of consultation required.
Additionally, the University of Auckland holds delegated Crown (Treaty of Waitangi) responsibility for public funds and is accountable for researchers at the University of Auckland meeting these obligations. HRC and ethics committee requirements cannot be met without consideration of these issues. Consideration is also needed for faculty sign off.
Māori experience poorer health outcomes than non-Māori in nearly all areas. Research should acknowledge these inequities, and aim to mitigate them. Your research should not contribute to perpetuating or increasing these inequities - either passively by ignoring them, or more actively through inappropriate methodology, recruitment or analysis. If you wish to examine issues relating to health in New Zealand, Māori cannot be ignored - both as tangata whenua, and as a significant population group in New Zealand. For example, if data is analysed only at a total population level, the majority “voice” will remain privileged and the status quo of health inequities maintained.
If you want to see the outcomes of your research disseminated and used effectively, either in the community, in policy or in practice, thinking about how your research addresses and responds to Māori health is critical. The sections in Te Ara Tika on Whakapapa and Tika also pose key questions about the value and perspective of your research, which are useful to reflect on.