Te Ara Tika Steps Two to Four

Step 2: Kia āta whakaaro - precise analysis

Step 3: Kia āta kōrero - robust discussion

Step 4: Kia āta whiriwhiri -consciously determine the conditions

There are key questions you need to consider to progress through Steps 2 - 4:

Relevance to Māori

Are there Māori:non-Māori health inequities in your area of research?

Review the available evidence

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you are unsure, please download the document Hauora IV (see below) where you can find further information on inequities. Hauora IV presents Māori health inequities within Māori analytical framing but reports data up to 2005. More recent data will be available, for example, in the Wai2575 Māori Health Trends Report available on the Ministry of Health website.


You need to consider: Why do it, for what purpose, with whom, how, and allow time...

  • Consultation with Māori is a minimal obligation under the Treaty of Waitangi, and an expectation of the University under its delegated Crown responsibilities. The level and depth of consultation will vary according to the type of research project.
  • Consultation may improve your research project, draw your attention to key Māori stakeholders, and improve your dissemination and knowledge transfer outcomes.
  • Think about the need for consultation with Māori EARLY in research design.
  • Relationships with Māori stakeholders will be on a continuum, from simple provision of information and dissemination of research findings, to a deeper relationship based on partnership.
  • A number of researchers will already have Māori individuals and/or groups involved in their project. For researchers without Māori involvement, key Māori stakeholders may be recommended. Te Ara Tika also provides some support.
  • Consultation, by definition, includes a feedback loop. Agree on what, when, and how you will feedback during your consultation process. They may suggest additional processes.

Māori involvement and promoting Māori voice

How will Māori be involved in my research? Whose story is being told via my research?

If there are Māori:non-Māori inequities in your research field then it is important to design your study so that Māori are well represented in your data, whatever your methodology. Prioritising Māori voices rebalances the demographic dominance of non-Māori. If Māori are not appropriately represented, non-Māori realities are foregrounded and will inform policy and practice. In this way, inadequate sampling of Māori and relative oversampling of non-Māori will perpetuate these inequities.​​​​​​​

Research Design

Researchers need to consider a range of questions in their research design:

  • Research should be designed to contribute to equity, not hide or support continued inequities.
  • If ethnicity is a variable of analysis in your research, please ensure that you use standardised definitions of ethnicity and methods of ethnicity data collection.
  • If you are using existing datasets, you will need to consider the accuracy and completeness of ethnicity within the dataset. For discussion on this issue, see Hauora IV Appendix Three.
  • Careful consideration of your sample is needed if you are researching in an area where there are inequities. If your sample has inadequate representation of Māori, you may perpetuate these inequities. The Te Ara Tika framework insists that you reflect on whether or not your study needs to have the power to analyse Māori outcomes independently (see equal explanatory power), and how you will achieve this.
  • A project that ensures that a sample is sufficiently powered to answer the research question may require additional planning or expertise on the research team.
  • Qualitative research should inform policy and practice equally for Māori as for non-Māori, and contribute to reducing health inequities. Issues of risk or harm versus benefit, participation and engagement in the research, consent and equity are all relevant

Analytical Framing

  • What “world view” does your framework of analysis represent? Is your conceptual framework equally appropriate for Māori? Are Māori at the centre or at the margin of your enquiry?
  • Your theoretical perspective is likely to shape your analysis (for example, different understandings might result from whether a sociological, kaupapa Māori, action research, or another frame is used …)
  • Be aware of your own conceptual views and possibility of researcher bias, e.g. be careful to avoid “deficit model” thinking - or “romantic framing” of results.
  • Be careful about your ability to generalise or draw conclusions about all Māori from your results.
If you intend to analyse your data by ethnicity, visit the Ethnicity Issues page. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
If you think there are no inequities in your area of enquiry and you will not use ethnicity as a variable of analysis, please ensure you can justify this.​​​​​


How will I uphold my responsibilities to Māori?

Governance in research encompasses the values and principles of communities of interest, and protects the rights and interests of these communities, by overseeing standards and regulatory processes that ensure good research practice. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Consent
  • Reflection about research relationships
  • Data Sovereignty


Most researchers are familiar with procedures for obtaining individual consent. Te Ara Tika identifies that, at times, individual written consent may not be sufficient. For a further discussion of collective consent, see the discussion paragraph (Pages 15 - 17) on "informed consent" in the Te Ara Tika document.

Collective consent may be of particular importance in studies involving the use of human tissue, body fluids, DNA, and data, especially where future use is being considered. DNA and genetic information reflect the whole whānau​​ across generations, and collective consent may be most appropriate in research using these data. See the section on human tissue and genetics for more information.

Reflection about research relationships

Governance has often been considered in respect to strategic and regulatory functions. There was an assumption that the ‘culture’ of the research team, group or centre was standard and agreed upon. However, there is a growing acknowledgement that governance functions should also capture the ‘culture’ of the organisation rather than it being ‘taken for granted’.

Being explicit about the culture of a group means being explicit about ways of doing and being. It also includes the relationships that the group establishes and maintains with communities and these communities will likely include iwi and/or other Māori groups. Research teams or research centres have sometimes convened Māori Advisory Groups or included 1-2 Māori on governance boards.

Research groups now need to ask:

  • How does the research group demonstrate a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi?
  • How does the research group demonstrate having a good relationship with Māori? And what is meant by a good relationship, who decides that it is good, and how?
  • Do Māori in the team also have the freedom to make separate decisions, to express tino rangatiratanga, when necessary?
  • How have these relationships been negotiated?
  • Taken further, the research group could demonstrate its commitment to sustainability through a strong commitment to a relationship with our environment.
So consideration of governance, especially of larger research groups and centres, is moving away from Māori Advisory Boards and having 1-2 Māori on the governance entity, to deep reflection and critical questions about research relationships. This sets the scene to consider other important issues such as data sovereignty and how we relate to the various forms of data, be it qualitative, quantitative, tissue or genetic, etc., that is generated by research.

Data Sovereignty

Te Mana Raraunga - the Māori Data Sovereignty Network - have developed Māori Data Sovereignty Principles to support good governance in research. Researchers should be aware of these principles and develop a plan to achieve these standards. 

Māori Data Sovereignty recognises that Māori data should be subject to Māori governance. Māori data sovereignty supports tribal sovereignty and the realisation of Māori Iwi aspirations (Te Mana Raraunga, 2022).

As outlined in the Te Mana Raraunga Charter, Māori data sovereignty can be advanced through:

  1. Asserting Māori rights and interests in relation to data
  2. Ensuring data for and about Māori can be safeguarded and protected
  3. Requiring the quality and integrity of Māori data and its collection
  4. Advocating for Māori involvement in the governance of data repositories
  5. Supporting the development of Māori data infrastructure and security systems
  6. Supporting the development of sustainable Māori digital businesses and innovations

These are key principles for you to consider in your research.

Additional information

You can find additional information relevant to your research by following the links below.