Research Idea

The conceptualisation of research idea and questions are a key process in the development of any research project. Our experiences as Māori of this project has often been as the ‘subjects’ or ‘objects’ of research and therefore questions have often been framed outside of us and by non-Māori researchers.

The colonisation process in Aotearoa has continued in ways that have meant that until recently we rarely had input into the shaping of research questions or defining what research is important. Research questions, within a Kaupapa Māori Research process, are framed and defined by whānau, hapū, iwi Māori and have at their core questions that are of importance and relevance to our lives.

This process is clearly highlighted in the Māori Sexuality Project which came about as a collaboration of Māori researchers who each had areas of interest and experience that raised critical questions about the construction of Māori Sexuality. Dr Leonie Pihama highlights that the research questions generated in this project were grounded in the experiences of those involved. The research questions were, therefore, constructed through the identification of real issues that exist for whānau, hapū and iwi.

The video segments highlight the process undertaken by the research team in the formation of a series of key areas of investigation and in particular highlights how the notion of whānau became central to the overall research project.