Research Guide

He Rangahau Kaupapa Māori

A Guide to Undertaking a Kaupapa Māori Research Project

So, you've decided to check out this thing called research. Research takes our natural curiosity about the way the world works and turns it into a formal inquiry that answers a research question and advances our knowledge and understanding. Developing an understanding of research processes and decision-making will place you in a better position to both inquire after knowledge as well as engage in discussions about research projects that may affect the people and places that you are tied to.

In any research project the biggest 'gadget' in your research toolkit is you - your experiences of the world, the way you look at things and understand them, the relationships you have with people, and the connectedness you have with your world. Many research 'discoveries' happen because someone has looked at something that's been taken-for-granted by others, and asked a curious question.

These webpages will step you through from your curious questions to the formalisation of a research question, to the gathering of information to answer that question, to letting people know what you've found. This is an exciting journey where you'll learn so much just by having a go; this is research learning by doing. At the end of your first research project, a sure sign of your success will be that you understand the research process a bit more and are ready to go with your next research question.

Find others to help you out. These might be people you know who have done research, people whose views you value and trust, or people who can cheer you on and support you. Hopefully you'll find people who can offer you what you need to undertake this journey.

Nine research steps will be discussed here - three steps for each part of the diagram below.

    • Re-Search is about walking familiar paths again with more formal questions in mind.

    • Re-Present is about the care we take when we want to tell ours what we've found.

    • Re-Claim, Re-Assert and Re-Member are some of the spin-offs of research that can tell us that we're on the right track.

The steps take place within a Kaupapa Māori research paradigm.


1. What's my question? - He aha tāku pātai?

2. Who do I need to ask? - Ka pātai ahau ki a wai?

3. How should I ask? - Me pēhea te pātai ki ngā tangata?


4. What should I do with the answers? - Ka aha ahau ki ngā whakautu?

5. Who needs to know what I found? - Ka whakamohio atu ngā hua ki a way?

6. How should I tell people what I found? - Me pēhea te whakamohio atu i ngā hua?

Re-Claim, Re-Assert, Re-Member

7. Re-Claim knowing - Kia mau ki ngā mohiotanga

8. Re-Assert knowledge - Kia Māori ngā mātauranga

9. Re-Member people - Kia maumahara ngā tangata

Concluding Remarks

Suggested citation Cram, F. (2013). He Rangahau Kaupapa Māori: A guide to undertaking a Kaupapa Māori research project. Auckland: Katoa Ltd. Available from