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Children and young people are experts on their own lives

posted 6 Mar 2019, 20:50 by Fiona Cram   [ updated 6 Mar 2019, 20:58 ]

Kia ora koutou – Greeting to you all. My name is Fiona Cram, and I’m a Māori researcher and evaluator based at Katoa Ltd.

My commentary on measuring the wellbeing of Māori children has just been published in the MAI Journal.

Abstract The Annual Child Poverty Monitor reports on child poverty measures and child-poverty-related indicators. Around one in three Māori children are defined as living in poverty. While the Monitor is a prompt for government action to reduce child poverty, it has been criticised as presenting a negative view of the lives of Māori children and whänau. This paper considers whether a fuller picture of the lived realities of Māori children can be gained from routinely collected data, using a lens of tamariki (children) Māori wellbeing. A mauri (life force) framing for the indicator set is proposed, with three components reflecting the ihi, wehi and wana of tamariki. This paper is intended as a resource that can inform discussion of Māori-centric indicators of Māori children’s wellbeing as individuals, within the context of whānau (family) and wider society.

This paper follows on from my 2014 article in the journal about measuring Māori wellbeing, which in turn builds on Professor Sir Mason Durie’s address to Treasury in 2006 about measuring Māori wellbeing. This background is described more by me in the video below.


My paper is intended to provoke discussion and has been published at the same time that the Office of the Children’s Commission has published its research on children and young people’s views on what makes a good life.

More of my research and writing can be found at the Katoa Ltd website.