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Category Research
Type Policy
Approved by Council, 12 August 2003
Date Policy Took Effect 1 September 2003
Last approved revision 14 July 2010
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)
Responsible officer Director, Office of Māori Development


The policy provides the framework for an appropriate and mandated consultation process with Māori for research. It ensures an effective and efficient mechanism for managing the consultation process while acknowledging the needs and aspirations of Ngāi Tahu for Māori development and benefit as expressed in Ngāi Tahu Vision 2025.

Organisational scope

The research propositions covered by this policy are those likely to result in project research.


Defined according to the definition of Justice McGechan:
"Consultation does not mean negotiation or agreement. It means: setting out a proposal not fully decided upon; adequately informing a party about relevant information upon which the proposal is based; listening to what the others have to say with an open mind (in that there is room to be persuaded against the proposal); undertaking that task in a genuine and not cosmetic manner. Reaching a decision that may or may not alter the original proposal."


1. Statement of Principles

The University of Otago has a commitment to partnership with Māori consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi and the University's stated objectives.

The policy will operate under the korowai (cloak) of the Memorandum of Understanding between Ngāi Tahu and the University of Otago. In particular, principle 3.2 of the Memorandum of Understanding states that:

"Both partners acknowledge the principles of academic freedom and the University's role as a critic and conscience of society."

Both Ngāi Tahu and the University acknowledge the need for guarantee of both confidentiality and Intellectual Property surrounding the consultation processes.

2.  Procedure

The consultation procedure will facilitate cooperative and collaborative working relationships between University of Otago researchers and Māori organisations and groups.

A flow chart of the process is shown below

The Kaitakawaenga Rangahau Māori (Facilitator Research Māori) at the University of Otago will work closely with existing research committees, and other relevant stakeholders in this field, to facilitate ease of access for researchers to information relevant to appropriate consultation processes and the expectations of Māori. This position will operate as an intermediary between internal stakeholders of the University of Otago and Ngāi Tahu. This position will also act as an intermediary between the Ngāi Tahu Research Consultation Committee and the University, facilitating and streamlining the consultation process to ensure the turnaround fits timeframes determined by all parties.

There are avenues for consultation, all of which will result in written feedback to the researcher from the Ngāi Tahu Research Consultation Committee:

  1. At an early stage of the development of a research proposition, researchers are encouraged to approach the Kaitakawaenga Rangahau Māori, in order to provide an opportunity for Ngāi Tahu to contribute to the planning of the research in a manner that is beneficial to both parties.
  2. Departments and Schools are encouraged to invite Ngāi Tahu Research Consultation Committee to a presentation on the different areas of research in the Department or School. The Committee may advise on which areas are likely or unlikely to be of interest to Mäori.
  3. Individual researchers or research groups are requested to submit a research proposition to the Kaitakawaenga Rangahau Māori either as a paper- or web-based form. It will include the following information:
    1. Principal investigator(s) and department(s)
    2. Title of proposed area of research
    3. Concise description in lay terms of the proposed area of research and its potential outcome
    4. Identification of areas that are of potential interest to or concern for Māori, if these are known to the researcher
    5. Potential funding bodies
    6. Potential collaborations

A separate research proposition will be required for each area of research.

Process for Research Consultation with Māori

  • Project research proposition developed
  • Forwarded to kaitakawaenga Rangahau Māori
  • Detailed consultation required?
    • No:
      • Comments:
        Researcher develops response to consultation input.
      • No comments:
        Researcher proposals developed and submitted in accordance with University policy.
    • Yes:
      • Ngāi Tahu Research Consultation Committee arranges detailed consultation.
      • Formal feedback provided to researcher.
      • Researcher develops response to consultation input.
      • Researcher proposals developed and submitted in accordance with University policy.

Related policies, procedures and forms

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