Wānanga: Regrouping methodologies from a Kaupapa Māori perspective. — ASN Events

Wānanga: Regrouping methodologies from a Kaupapa Māori perspective. (15183)

Naomi Simmonds 1
  1. The University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ, New Zealand

This presentation examines the use of Kaupapa Māori methodologies as part of my PhD research. Specifically, I reflect on the use of wānanga, a ‘group methodology’ founded in Māori traditions, to examine women’s experiences of maternities in Aotearoa New Zealand. Wānanga, as a method in research today, falls into an in-between space in a number of ways. It neither entirely fits the conventions of a focus group nor of more participatory group methods resulting in a number of ethical and logistical challenges that require negotiation. Despite these complexities, however, the use of wānanga offers exciting methodological possibilities for geography and wider Māori and indigenous scholarship. I argue in this paper, that the use of Kaupapa Māori methods, such as wānanga, can provide a culturally safe space whereby Māori communities can tell stories, share their thoughts and experiences and, ultimately, retain (or regain) some self-determination over their knowledges. Furthermore, they provide an opportunity for researchers to ensure that their research is grounded, relevant and beneficial to their communities.