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Kaupapa Māori action research in a Whānau Ora collective: An exemplar of Māori evaluative practice and the findings

Maria Baker, Kataraina Pipi, and Terri Cassidy

Whānau Ora, introduced as a government initiative in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2010, was designed to support collaboration and effective service delivery by Māori non-government organisations. The aim of Whānau Ora is to improve heath and social outcomes for whānau. Action research was conducted to support this initiative, with action researchers walking alongside Whānau Ora collectives to support their collaborative planning, research, evaluation and reflection. This article examines the implementation of the evaluative component of kaupapa Māori (by Māori, for Māori, with Māori) action research with a Whānau Ora collective, Te Hau Āwhiowhio ō Otangarei. An integrated action-research approach based on kaupapa Māori principles supported methodological decisions. These decisions, in turn, informed the choice of evaluation methods used (e.g., wānanga, reflective hui, whānau interviews), and four of the methods chosen and the concomitant evaluative findings are described. It is concluded that the effectiveness of integrating action research with kaupapa Māori principles has provided a multi-method evaluation approach that works well for Māori communities.

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