School of Psychology - Leading psychological science, scholarship and practice

Māori and Pacific research ethics within the School of Psychology

This website has been set up by the Māori and Pacific Psychology Research Committee to support non-Māori staff and postgraduate researchers who wish to include Māori and Pacific people as part of their research, and do so in a way that treats all those involved respectfully.


Relevant Resources


Māori psychology research practice

  • This website gives a good introduction to Kaupapa Māori research, and useful grounding in Māori research practices for those considering doing research with Māori. Webpage tabs include subsections on considerations for Kaupapa Māori research pertaining to the research idea, research proposal, ethics, methodology, method, analysis, and knowledge exchange. There are some engaging videos of experienced researchers discussing their work.

  • This website compiles some literature on Kaupapa Māori research, with helpful article summaries, intended for postgraduate students.


Pacific psychology research practice

Le Va. (2009). Let’s Get Real: Real Skills for People Working in Mental Health & Addiction. Real Skills Plus Seitapu: Working with Pacific Peoples. The National Centre of Mental Health Research, Information and Workforce Development, Auckland.

  • This is a report on Pacific cultural competencies that was done for the Ministry of Health, and is very relevant to psychological research.

McFaull-McCaffery, J. (2010). Getting started with Pacific research: Finding resources and information on Pacific research models and methodologies, MAI Review, 2010:1.

  • This article lists some good resources for Pacific research methods.

Anae, M., Coxon, E., Mara, D., Wendt-Samu, T. and Finau, C. (2001). Pasifika Education Research Guidelines. Ministry of Education, Wellington.

  • This article provides useful guidelines for Pacific research and the parameters around definitions of Pacific people.

Tiatia J. 2008. Pacific Cultural Competencies: A literature review. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

  • This paper was developed for those wanting to work with Pacific peoples and their families in the mental health and addiction workforce, and provides useful suggestions for engaging with Pacific people in research.



Non-Māori researcher engagement with Māori

Cunningham, C. (1999). Māori research and development. Health Care & Informatics Review Online, 3(2).

  • Cunningham (1999) provide a useful table that outlines a continuum of different degrees of Māori involvement and the level of Māori participation, advised methodologies and techniques, and who should be in control of research decisions and analysing data.

Hudson, M., Milne, M., Reynolds, P., Russell, K., Smith, B. (2010). Te Ara Tika Guidelines for Māori Research Ethics: A framework for researchers and ethics committee members.  Auckland: Health Research Council of New Zealand.

  • Hudson, Milne, Reynolds & Smith (2010) provides a more detailed Māori ethical framework that engages core Māori tikanga to guide and frame an approach to research that considers how the research design, research relationships, justice and equity, and cultural and social responsibility are engaged with. Guidelines are then formulated for researchers who engage with Māori in relation to mainstream, Māori-centred, and Kaupapa Māori research.

Martin, K. (2006). Please Knock Before You Enter: An Investigation of how Rainforest Aboriginal People Regulate Outsiders and the Implications for Western Research and Researchers. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

  • While this work is about indigenous people doing research within indigenous communities it is a useful read for non-indigenous readers. Located in an Australian context, the author discusses their transition from being ‘known about in research’ to ‘being known’ in chapter 6 entitled ‘Implications for Aboriginal research and indigenist researchers.’

Moewaka Barnes, H., McCreanor, T. & Huakau, J. (2008). Māori and the New Zealand values survey: The importance of research relationships, in Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences online, 3(2): 135-147.

  • Moewaka Barnes, McCreanor, & Huakau (2008) outline their experiences collaborating with non-Māori researchers on research projects that involve Māori, presenting useful examples of doing so in quantitative projects, and provide guidelines for making decisions about research collaborations with non-Māori.

Māori and Pasifika psychology research topic knowledge

He Kohikohinga Rangahau



Hyde, J., Le Grice, J., Moore, C., Groot, S., Fia-Ali’I, J., Manuela, S. . (2017). He Kohikohinga Rangahau: A Bibliography of Māori and Psychology Research. School of Psychology, The University of Auckland


Fia’Ali’i, J. T., Manuela, S., Le Grice, J., Groot, S., & Hyde, J. (2017). ‘O le Toe Ulutaia: A Bibliography of Pasifika and Psychology Research. School of Psychology, The University of Auckland.

O le Toe Ulutaia



These are useful resources that compile Māori and Pasifika psychology literature, broadly conceptualised, and listed in a thematic structure that validates Māori and Pasifika psychologies. The resources will be useful for staff and students who are interested in relevant topic based knowledge on Māori and Pasifika psychologies.

He Kohikohinga Rangahau
A Bibliography of Māori and Psychology Research. School of Psychology, The University of Auckland (2.0 MB, PDF)
‘O le Toe Ulutaia
A Bibliography of Pasifika and Psychology Research. School of Psychology, The University of Auckland. (1.4 MB, PDF)

Vision Mātauranga

  • Vision Mātauranga is a Ministry of Research, Science and Technology initiative to resource and mobilise the innovation and potential of Māori knowledge, resources, and people. There is an expectation that research proposals submitted to the Faculty of Science (including Psychology) address how the proposed research engages with the four research themes outlined in Vision Mātauranga Māori
    • Indigenous innovation: Contributing to economic growth through distinctive R&D
    • Taiao: Achieving environmental sustainability through iwi and hapu relationships with land and sea
    • Hauora/Oranga: Improving health and social wellbeing
    • Mātauranga: Exploring indigenous knowledge and RS&T.
  • Michael Steedman, Faculty of Science Kaiarahi Māori research advisor, is available for guidance regarding Vision Mātauranga for research proposals and ethics.

Questions and Answers

Q. How do I set up a research project, and reflect on research questions, so that it is ethically sound for Māori?

A. See Te Ara Tika Guidelines for Māori Research Ethics for guidance on, and considerations for, setting up a research project.


Q. How do I engage in research in a way that will mutually enhance Māori communities who are participating in the research, as advisors, and/or recruiters or participants?

A. See Te Ara Tika Guidelines for Māori Research Ethics or visit Kaupapa Māori website for guidance on aligning research with community aspirations.


Q. How do I engage with Māori who I have identified as having some expertise or stake in the communities I am interested in consulting with/taking part in/being interviewed for my research project?

A. Visit Kaupapa Māori website for guidance on research relationships and engagement.


Q. What research has been done with Māori in the general topic area that I want to research?

A. See He Kohikohinga Rangahau: A Bibliography of Māori and Psychology Research for listed research within particular topic areas. We are working on producing an update in 2016!


Research vignettes: Working in the community, examples from Māori and non-Māori researchers

[Coming soon]


Best Practice Examples

[Coming soon]


Relevant Networks

These are some of the networks relevant to Māori research within a psychological scope, though this list is not exhaustive or all encompassing. There are many more relevant organisations, agencies and initiatives that are not listed here. Key contacts can be found on the related webpages, or are listed where relevant.

National Māori and Pacific organisations

National standing Committee on Bicultural Issues is a branch of The New Zealand Psychological Society

Pasifikology is a network of Pasifika psychologists, graduates and students of psychology

Le Va is a non-government organisation that provides resources and support for Pasifika people in the areas of mental health, addiction, public health, suicide prevention and education  

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga is New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), hosted here at The University of Auckland, through Te Wānanga o Waipapa

Te Kupenga o MAI, the Māori and indigenous programme, is a New Zealand-wide support network for Māori and indigenous post-graduate students

Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui is a national centre of evidence based workforce development for the mental health, addiction and disability sectors in New Zealand

Te Puni Kokiri is the government's principal adviser on the Crown's relationship with iwi, hapu and Māori, and on key Government policies as they affect Māori

Waka Hourua is the partnership between national Māori health workforce development organisation Te Rau Matatini and national Pacific non-government organisation, Le Va. Te Rau Matatini and Le Va have come together to deliver Waka Hourua, a suicide prevention programme for Māori and Pasifika communities

Te Rau Matatini provides a strategic focus for Māori workforce training, education and capability building solutions for the advancement of indigenous health and wellbeing

Te Ropu Wahine Maori Toko i te Ora (Maori Women’s Welfare League Inc), is a prominent, reputable Maori organisation in New Zealand’s social and commercial environment

National Māori takatāpui initiatives - see the following link to a fantastic free resource for takatāpui, their whānau & communities that provides information about identity, wellbeing and suicide prevention produced in partnership with Tiwhanawhana Trust: and an amazing doco series that explores how the term takatāpui was undermined through colonisation and includes interviews with takatāpui (specifically renowned queer activist and art historian Ngahuia Te Awekotuku)


Tangata whenua of Tāmaki


Tangata whenua of Tamaki

Image sourced from:

Several iwi and hapū inhabit the Tāmaki (Auckland) landscape. These include Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Whātua-o-Ōrākei (a hapū of Ngāti Whātua iwi),  Te Kawerau A-Maki, Ngāi Tai, Te Wai-o-Hua/Ngā Oho (hapū of Te Ᾱkitai) and Ngāti te Ata (a hapū of Tainui iwi) In some research topics it may be appropriate to collaborate and develop a relationship with tangata whenua.


University of Auckland centres and initiatives

I, Too, Am Auckland is the culmination of a Nga Pae o te Maramatanga summer internship that engages with Māori and Pacific students’ everyday experiences of racism here at The University of Auckland, and considers possible solutions.

The Equity office provides scholarships, advice and support for Māori and Pacific students to assist with success at the University

James Henare Research Centre, based at the University of Auckland, is a research centre focussed on community research within the Tai Tokerau (Northland) regionāori-at-the-university/james-henare-Māori-research-centre.html

Te Wananga o Waipapa is the School of Māori and Pacific Studies within the Faculty of Arts see also the related webpage about our marae here at The University of Auckland, Waipapa maraeāori-studies/waipapa-marae.html


Faculty of Science advisors

Faculty of Science research advisor Wendy Rhodes and Kaiarahi Māori research advisor Michael Steedman are available to assist with professional staff development.


School of Psychology initiatives

Māori and Pacific Psychology Committee supports Māori and Pacific initiatives within the School of Psychology and is comprised of Māori and Pacific staff and allies within the School of Psychology. See our 2015 annual report (below), and newly refined mission statement. Contact co-chairs Jade Le Grice or Shiloh Groot for any related queries.

Tuākana programme provides initiatives for social and academic support for Māori and Pacific undergraduate and postgraduate students through their tertiary study:āori-and-pacific-students.html

Māori and Pacific Psychology Research Group provides a support structure for Māori and Pacific postgraduate research students through their tertiary studyāori-and-pacific-research-group.html

School of Psychology ethics advisors are also available to assist with ethics related queries.


Glossary of some relevant psychological terms in reo Māori

  • Ahi kaa to keep ‘the home fires burning’, refers to those who stay at papa kāinga and fulfil tasks and obligations on marae
  • Ako to learn and teach concurrently
  • Aroha affection, sympathy, charity, compassion, love, empathy
  • Aroha ki te tangata a respect for people (L. Smith, 2006)
  • Atawhai to show kindness to, to raise or adopt temporarily
  • Atua supernatural being, literally translated in English as ‘Potential being from beyond’ (T. Smith, 2009)
  • Awa river, stream, creek, canal, gully, gorge, groove, furrow
  • Awhi to embrace, cherish (also means to surround sit on eggs, brood)
  • Haka vigorous dance with actions and powerful rhythmically sung words
  • Hapū sub tribe, to be pregnant, conceived in the womb
  • Hau kainga the home people of a marae
  • Hinengaro mind, thought, intellect, consciousness, awareness
  • Hoa takatāpui intimate friend of the same sex
  • Hui gathering, meeting, assembly, seminar, conference
  • Ia he and she
  • Iwi tribe, strength, bone
  • Kai food, or to eat
  • Kaikaranga caller - the woman (or women) who has the role of making the ceremonial call to visitors onto a marae, or equivalent venue, at the start of a pōwhiri
  • Kaitiaki trustee, minder, guard, custodian, guardian, keeper
  • Kaitiakitanga guardianship
  • Kanohi ki te kanohi the seen face, present yourself to people face to face (L. Smith, 2006)
  • Karakia incantation, prayer, grace, blessing, church service
  • Kaua e mahaki do not be arrogant with your knowledge or impose your expertise on others (L. Smith, 2006)
  • Karakia incantation, prayer, grace, blessing, church service
  • Kaua e mahaki do not flaunt your knowledge (L. Smith, 2006)
  • Kaua e takahia te mana o te tangata do not trample over the people’s dignity (L. Smith, 2006)
  • Kaumātua elder. In this research it refers to chosen experts who have knowledge of mātauranga and tikanga Māori
  • Kaupapa topic, policy, matter for discussion (also means platform, layer and raft)
  • Kaupapa Māori an approach that privileges the perspectives and protocols of Māori
  • Kawa marae protocol, ceremony to open a new house
  • Kia tupato be cautious (L. Smith, 2006)
  • Koha gift, present, offering, donation, contribution
  • Kōrero narrative, speech, conversation, discourse
  • Koroua elderly man, grandfather, grand uncle, papa
  • Kuia elderly woman, grandmother, grand aunt
  • Kura Kaupapa Māori primary school operating under Māori custom and using Māori as the medium of instruction
  • Mana a supernatural force in a person, place or object, mana goes hand in hand with tapu
  • Mana Wāhine an approach that privileges the perspectives and protocols of Māori women; also refers to the inherent prestige, authority and power of women in the context of Leonie Pihama’s (2001) principles for Mana Wāhine research
  • Mana tāne the inherent prestige, authority and power of men
  • Manaaki to support, take care of, give hospitality to, protect, look out for
  • Manaaki ki te tangata share and host people, be generous (L. Smith, 2006)
  • Manaakitanga hospitality, kindness
  • Manuhiri visitor, guest
  • Māori indigenous New Zealander, indigenous person of Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Māoritanga Māori culture, practices and beliefs
  • Marae community facility where hapū collectives discuss political and social matters, and host important events such as funerals
  • Marae wānanga seminar, conference, forum held at a community facility for hapū collectives
  • Matariki the Māori new year
  • Mātauranga education, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, skill
  • Matua father, uncle
  • Mātua parents
  • Maunga mountain, mount, peak
  • Mauri life principle, special nature, a material symbol of a life principle, source of emotions
  • Moana sea, ocean, large lake
  • Mokōpūna (mokos) grandchild, descendant - child or grandchild of a son, daughter, nephew, niece, etc
  • Noa be free from the extensions of tapu, ordinary, unrestricted
  • Ora be alive, well, safe, cured, recovered, healthy, fit
  • Pākehā New Zealander of European descent
  • Papa kāinga original home, home base, village
  • Pepe baby
  • Pepeha a recitation of whakapapa and areas of significance, see the beginning of this section
  • Pōwhiri invitation, rituals of encounter, welcome ceremony on a marae, welcome
  • Pūmanawa natural talent, intuitive cleverness
  • Rangahau whānau members of a Māori research advisory group
  • Rangatahi younger generation, youth
  • Rangatira rich, well off, noble, esteemed, revered
  • Rangatiratanga sovereignty, chieftainship, right to exercise authority, chiefly autonomy, self-determination, self-management, ownership, leadership of a social group, domain of the rangatira, noble birth
  • Rāhui to put in place a temporary ritual prohibition, closed season, ban, reserve
  • Rito centre shoot, undeveloped leaves of harakeke
  • Rohe boundary, district, region, territory, area, border (of land)
  • Rongoā holistic form of healing treatment for Māori (and non-Māori) that addresses cultural health issues
  • Takatāpui has been reclaimed to embrace all Māori who identify with diverse genders and sexualities such as whakawahine, tangata ira tane, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer
  • Tamariki children
  • Tāne Also refers to a son of Ranginui and Papatūānuku, atua of the forests, husband of Hineahuone, father (and husband through incest) of Hinetitama/Hinenuitepo - a cautionary narrative of sexual ethics
  • Tāngata people, persons, human beings
  • Tangata whenua local people, hosts, indigenous people of the land - people born of the whenua (of the placenta and the land) where the people's ancestors have lived and where their placentas are buried
  • Tangihanga weeping, crying, funeral, rites for the dead, obsequies
  • Taonga treasure, anything prized - applied to anything considered to be of value both tangible and intangible
  • Tapu the restricted and controlled access to other human beings (Tate, 2010)
  • Tauiwi a person with no Māori tribal affiliation
  • Te ao Māori the Māori world
  • Te ao Pākehā the Pākehā world
  • Te ao mārama the world of light
  •  Te ao hurihuri the ever-changing world
  • Te kore the potential, the void, the nothingness
  • Te mamae sadness and grief
  • Te pō the form, the dark, the night
  • Te reo Māori Māori language
  • Te reo me ona tikanga Māori language and traditional practices (Pihama, 2001)
  • Te rito centre shoot, undeveloped leaves of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax
  • Te tapu o te tangata this refers to the intrinsic tapu given to every person at conception, and relates to our relationships with the atua, tangata, and whenua
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Te ūkaipō mother, origin, source of sustenance, real home
  •  Te whare tangata the womb, uterus, cervix, vaginal; literally translated in English as ‘House of People’
  • Teina younger sibling of the same gender. (Tēina – means plural)
  • Tiaki/tanga to guard, keep; also to look after, nurse, care, protect, conserve, save (computer)
  • Tika correct, appropriate
  • Tikanga correct procedure, custom, manner and practice, pertaining to Māori
  • Tinana body, trunk (of a tree), the main part of anything
  • Tino rangatiratanga self-determination
  • Tipu to grow, increase, spring, issue, begin, develop, sprout also refers to a seedling, growth, development, shoot, bud, plant
  • Tūpuna /Tīpuna ancestors, grandparents
  • Titiro, whakarongo… kōrero look, listen, speak (L. Smith, 2006)
  • Tohunga skilled person, chosen expert, priest - a person chosen by the agent of an atua and the tribe as a leader in a particular field because of signs indicating talent for a particular vocation
  • Tuakana elder sibling of the same gender (tuākana is plural)
  • Wahi ngaro world of gods and spirits, divine intervention, a place out of sight
  • Wāhine women
  • Wai water, juice, liquid
  • Waiata song, chant, psalm
  • Waiora health, soundness
  • Wairua spirituality, spirit, soul, quintessence - spirit of a person which exists beyond death
  • Wānanga seminar, conference, forum
  • Whaea mother, aunt
  • Whaea kēkē aunt
  • Whaikōrero the art or practice of oratory
  • Whakamā be ashamed, shy, bashful, embarrassed
  • Whakanoa a violation that diminishes the tapu of atua, tāngata, and whenua, impairing or obstructing their mana
  • Whakapapa genealogy, lineage, descent (also means genealogical table)
  • Whakarite governing concept of balance between people and the world, in terms of reciprocity and complementary roles (Herangi-Panapa, 1998)
  • Whakaruruhau “actions which recognise, respect and nurture the unique cultural identity of tangata whenua…and safely meets their needs, expectations and rights” (Ramsden, cited in Jungersen, 2002, p. 6)
  • Whakataukī proverb, saying, cryptic saying, aphorism
  • Whakautu to answer, reply, respond
  • Whakawatea to clear, excuse, free, make way for, dislodge, exempt
  • Whakawhiti to exchange, cross over, change, transfer, interchange, ferry, or to make shine
  • Whānau extended family, to be born, to give birth
  • Whānaunga relative, relation, kin, blood relation
  • Whānaungatanga relationship, kinship, sense of family connection
  • Whāngai to raise, adopt, nurture (also means to feed)
  • Whare house
  • Whare hui main meeting area of a marae
  • Whāriki floor covering, ground cover, floor mat, carpet, mat
  • Whenua land, country, ground, placenta, afterbirth


Herangi-Panapa, T. P. M. (1998). Ko Te Wahine He Whare Tangata, He Waka Tangata: A Study of Māori Women's Experiences of Violence as Depicted Through the Definition of Whakarite. (Master of Arts), The University of Auckland, Auckland.

Jungersen, K. (2002). Cultural safety: Kawa Whakaruruhau – An occupational therapy perspective. New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy, 49(1), 4-9.

Pihama, L. (2001). Tihei mauri ora: honouring our voices: mana wahine as a kaupapa Māori theoretical framework. (Phd), The University of Auckland, Auckland.

Smith, L. (2006). Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous People. London: Zed.

Smith, T. (2009). Aitanga: Māori Precolonial Conceptual Frameworks and Fertility: A Literature Review.

Tate, H. A. (2010). Towards Some Foundations of a Systematic Māori Theology: He tirohanga anganui ki etahi kaupapa hohonu mo te whakapono Māori. (Doctor of Philosophy), Melbourne College of Divinity, Melbourne.

Thank you to Sam Manuela for his assistance with locating key Pacific references, and Sue O’Shea for setting the site.