Hui & Workshops

Hui is the Māori word for gathering or meeting. It involves meeting as a group (of any size, generally speaking larger than focus groups) to discuss issues and has a set protocol that is used to guide the hui process. It is generally unstructured in its nature, although there is usually a 'kaupapa' or purpose for the hui that will guide the direction of the conversation. This particular method requires acute cultural awareness by the researcher as there are often culturally coded means of communicating that take place. For example, the use of proverbs in speech, the use of metaphors relating back to Māori mythology and history etc.. may be used by participants in conveying information.

Hui can last for any length of time from 1 hour to 3 days. Recording of hui is also very difficult and may require the use of multiple methods including audio, visual, written and verbal accounts.

Russell Bishop (1996) refers the hui as providing a 'spiral discourse' (p. 121) whereby a consensual collaboratively constructed story is paramount.

Rose Pere (1991) describes hui in the following way:

"Respect, consideration, patience, and cooperation. People need to feel that they have the right and the time to express their point of view. You may not always agree with the speakers, but it is considered bad form to interrupt their flow of speech while they are standing on their feet; one has to wait to make a comment. People may be as frank as they like about others at the hui, but usually state their case in such a way that the person being criticised can stand up with some dignity in his/her right of reply. Once everything has been fully discussed and the members come to some form of consensus, the hui concludes with a prayer and the partaking of food" (p. 44).


Te Roopu Takitini (2005). 'Hui Tuakana: Futures Planning Forum Proceedings'. Auckland.

Further Reading: Pere, Rose (1991) 'Te Wheke: A celebration of infinite wisdom'. Gisborne: Ao Ako.

Salmond, Anne. (1975). 'Hui: A study of Mäori ceremony greetings'. Auckland: Reed & Methuen.


Workshops are an excellent means of sharing skills and knowledge with the community. Workshops involve the sharing of knowledge and the teaching of skills. They are useful in increasing the skills-base within a community, and are also a good method for whakawhanaungatanga.