Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Qualitative Methods






School of Arts and Humanities




Joyce, J., & Forsyth, H. (2022). It’sa matter of trust: Ngāi Tahu democratic processes and Māori Pākehā research partnership. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 21, 16094069221117986. Advance online publication.


The Ngāi Tahu indigenous Māori community of Aotearoa/New Zealand successfully maintained 150 years of legal grievance against the British Crown following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and colonization. The importance of women leaders, the guiding role of elders, the long-term commitment to intergenerational health for all tribal members, the democratic processes in the current context for Ngāi Tahu iwi within Aotearoa and engagement with the legal system was crucial in building towards a post-conflict society. Alongside this there were and are creative empowerment processes that nourished cultural vitality. This paper shares a ‘conversational exchange’ about the processes that occurred after Treaty of Waitangi settlement was reached, as the tribe stepped into the challenge of navigating the complicated additional corporate, bureaucratic, governance, and legal structures. The eldest Māori woman from Ōtākou Marae, Te Waipounamu (South Island), describes her experience of listening to the old people, going to tribal hui (meetings) and creating support and services in the Māori community. Her words, presented in full, modelling innovative methodology that prioritises the role of transparent Southern Māori and Pākehā conversation in a post-settlement environment. The relationship of trust between the authors, representing two cultures with a history of colonization, grew over several decades of shared discussion, cultural supervision and listening. Our kōrero (conversation) begins with one question: What are the effects of democracy on sustainable culture and community?



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License