The interpretation and practice of kaupapa Māori evaluation (KME) take many forms, each involving its own set of considerations, challenges and outcomes. This paper explores the complexities involved in a collaborative journey through an evaluation project where KME was a guiding principle, highlighting its successes and challenges. The evaluation aimed to benefit Ngāti Porou Hauora, a Māori health provider, and the community it served, by evaluating the effectiveness (as defined by the community) of a health literacy intervention. Ultimately, KME in this project was about meeting the aspirations of co-ownership, mutually beneficial outcomes and shared power by prioritising the participants’ voices to shape and develop the criteria to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Stakeholders’ understanding of health literacy and the intervention varied, making the vision of collaboration more complex as individuals worked through personal, community and organisational implications.
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