Leonie Pihama - Example

Leonie Pihama

Te Atiawa

An excerpt from a Kaupapa Māori research proposal (2003)

Research Methodology and Method

Kaupapa Maori research provides the research methodology and informs the ways in which certain research methods are employed within the project. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be undertaken to provide information and knowledge about this project from a range of stakeholders.

Qualitative Approach

The qualitative methods to be utilised are based fundamentally within the notions of kōrero, hui and purākau. Each of these conceptual frameworks allows for the voices, views, opinions and stories of participants to be heard and will be facilitated through a range of qualitative interview processes. The qualitative approach will consist of the following:


A series of in-depth interviews will be undertaken with key stakeholders identified by the project team. These will be approximately one hour in duration. These interviews will provide for depth discussion in regard to the key research issues and will help to develop the framework for other aspects of the research, in particular the narratives and the student satisfaction survey. This research proposal allows for 12 individual stakeholder interviews.

Focus Groups

A focus group approach allows for the bringing together of groups of people who operate within a similar context that relates to the research area. Focus groups provide opportunities for information to come forward through a process of discussion and interaction. A benefit of focus group work is that it can highlight commonalities in collective understandings and also the points at which perspectives differ. The focus groups will also provide, as will the individual interviews, understandings for the development of the satisfaction survey.


A series of in-depth interviews with 12 students will be undertaken as a process of developing a series of personal narratives of student experiences. This process will enable the provider to get a sound view of the depth of student experiences. The interviews will take approximately 1.5-2hours and will be transcribed fully and developed into a narrative form. This is also a recognition that quantitative data, whilst critical in terms of broader feedback, does not necessarily provide the depth that organisation seek in order to gain insights into elements such as enhancement of life chances or attitudinal change.

Quantitative Approach

A quantitative approach will be undertaken in regard to gaining wider student participation in the evaluation process. This will be in the form of a Student Satisfaction Survey operated via The University of Auckland CATI system. From a total number of 12,000 students nationally we will interview 600 participants. As such the study will involve 5% of the total participants in the CATI survey, as part of the larger study. It is our belief that this number will provide adequate information for the evaluation.

The survey questionnaire will be developed in collaboration with the funding agency and the research team. Collaboration will take place between The University of Auckland Survey Research Unit to ensure the questionnaire is suitable for CATI. It is expected that each interview will take 12 to 15 minutes to complete. We have allowed this time to enable two open-ended questions as requested by the provider. A small pilot survey with 12 participants will be undertaken to test the questionnaire for comprehension and appropriate language.

The research team will undertake data analysis however we will deliver a clean data-set for internal usage. In regard to recruitment for this sample the research team will liaise with the funding agency to obtain an electronic database of contact numbers. The database will be loaded into the system and a random selection of participants will be undertaken. It is noted that there is an increasing number of Māori interviewers being trained in the CATI system and we will seek to have high numbers of Māori interviewers involved in the project.


Operating within a Kaupapa Māori framework necessitated a research process that affirmed Kaupapa Māori ethics. These ethics are informed by tikanga Maori and demand that negotiation with participants be undertaken. Ethical approval for the research will also seek from the University of Auckland Human Subjects Ethics Committee. Our interactions with participants and key informants will be confidential and they will not be identified in any report unless they give their permission for this to occur.

Collaborative Approach

As per our discussions leading to the development of this proposal, the research process will be negotiated and jointly agreed upon with the contracting body. The research team not only agrees with such a process but believes that in order for any evaluative process to be both effective and successful then key stakeholders must have input into the process of design. As such, it is our understanding that key personnel within the funding agency will provide significant input into this process and in the organisation of the project. We look forward to the development of a collaborative process and view this as being in line with the wider Kaupapa Māori approach to research.