Te Hoe Nuku Roa: A journey towards Maori centered research

Margaret Forster


Maori people have a unique body of knowledge that, while
based on ancestral  traditions, has adapted  to meet con-
temporary  challenges. While Maori  knowledge  is widely
applied in Maori communities it is now increasingly being
used in mainstream domains.

This  paper will  focus  on  a  project  known  as  Best Out-
comes For Māori: Te Hoe Nuku Roa Maori Profiles, a
longitudinal Maori household project with a focus on Maori
development in cultural, social and economic terms. This
project  is  based  on  a  cultural  framework  that  has  been
formulated from ‘traditional’ principles. It provides a model
for  the  interaction  between Maori  knowledge  and main-
stream  social  science  practices  and  demonstrates  how
Maori knowledge and the Western scientific tradition can
be used together to resolve critical failings in previous re-
search and advance the aspirations of Maori people. It is
just one example of how traditional principles are demon-
strating their continuing value in contemporary Maori de-
velopment.  “The challenge  today  is  to survive as Māori,
to  retain a Maori  identity, while still being able  to partici-
pate fully in society and in the communities of the world.”   
(Durie 1997)

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