‘Tikanga Maori’ Model

Hirini Moko Mead (2003) has developed a framework using Tikanga Maori and Matauranga Maori to assess contentious issues to find a Maori position on these issues.

His framework uses five “tests” by which you can assess a Maori stance to an issue. These tests are:

  • Test 1: The Tapu Aspect – Tapu relates to the sacredness of the person.  When evaluating ethical issues, it is important to consider whether there will be a breach of tapu, if there is, will the gain or outcome from the breach be worth it.
  • Test 2: The Mauri Aspect – Mauri refers to the life essence of a person or object. In an ethical context, one must consider whether the Mauri of an object or a thing will be compromised and to what extent.
  • Test 3: The Take-utu-ea aspect – Take (Issue) – Utu (Cost) – Ea (Resolution). Take-utu-ea refers to an issue that requires resolution. Once an issue or conflict has been identified, the utu refers to a mutually agreed upon cost or action that must be undertaken to restore the issue and resolve it.
  • Test 4: The Precedent aspect – This refers to looking back at previous examples of similar issues that have been resolved in the past. Precedent is used to determine appropriate action for now.
  • Test 5: The Principles aspect – This refers to a collection of other Maori principles or values that may enhance and inform an ethical debate. Issues such as those listed in the ‘Community-Up’ Model, manaakitanga, mana, whanaungatanga, tika (right) and noa (neutrality)