Māori research practices

Cultural, political and practical information to support incorporating tikanga Māori (Māori customs and protocols) into your research activities at Victoria.

Hongi during graduation ceremony.

By embedding tikanga Māori into your academic research practices, not only will you build cultural competence, but you’ll help invoke university values and give effect to Victoria’s Treaty of Waitangi Statute.

As a Victoria researcher, you’re invited to consider the ways that your research conforms to this statute. Increasingly in New Zealand, research activities and funding applications are expected to include a Māori dimension and express tenets of the government’s Vision Mātauranga, designed to encourage research that draws on Māori knowledge, resources and people.

Together, we can ensure that our research reflects Victoria’s Vision Statement and affirms that “Victoria will be imbued with distinctive qualities through its values and through the Treaty of Waitangi, mātauranga Māori and te reo Māori.” The values referred to in that statement—akoranga, whanaungatanga, whai mātauranga, kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga and rangatiratanga—require some understanding and commitment to tikanga Māori.

Researchers at Victoria are supported by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) to integrate mātauranga Māori into their work. The Office can give advice on completing research grant applications. It also hosts workshops and training sessions to help researchers incorporate the Māori dimension into the various aspects and stages of research.

The values

The vision statement expands on the concepts behind the following tikanga Māori values of the University:

Akoranga
to teach and to learn

Whanaungatanga
a sense of belonging

Whai mātauranga
the pursuit of knowledge

Kaitiakitanga
care and guardianship

Manaakitanga
generosity, respect and hospitality

Rangatiratanga
leadership, nobility and autonomy

Ethics

Human Ethics application processes at Victoria requires you to explain ways in which your research conforms to the University’s Treaty of Waitangi Statute. This issue requires full and thoughtful consideration.

If you’re specifically recruiting from groups including Māori during your research, you need to have consultated before submitting your application. The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) encourages and support you in building relationships and engaging effectively with Māori groups.

Te Hāpai programme

Te Hāpai is a development programme that can be accessed by all Victoria staff and is designed to increase the understanding and use of Māori culture, language and the Treaty of Waitangi.

Te Herenga Waka Marae—the meeting house

Te Herenga Waka Marae was opened in 1986 and is used for a wide range of events during the year, including lectures, tutorials, noho marae (marae stay overs), assessments, orientations, meetings, wānanga (seminars and forums), conferences and debates. It is also used for social and cultural gatherings such as kapa haka practices, student association gatherings, weddings, christenings and tangihanga (funerals).

The Marae also hosts Te Hui Whakapūmau, the annual Māori graduation ceremony in December, and a celebration for the May graduation.

Māori cultural practices

There are a number of Māori cultural practices that may be appropriate to incorporate into your research processes. You may, for example, consider holding a pōhiri/pōwhiri (Māori welcome), starting research meetings with karakia (incantation) or concluding with waiata (songs).

Detail about practices surrounding speaking, eating, relationships with the immediate environment and Māori customs is available in the Tikanga Māori at Victoria guide (2017).