Kaupapa Māori Health Research

  • Fiona CramEmail author
Reference work entry


Kaupapa Māori is literally a Māori way. It is a response to the colonization in Aotearoa New Zealand that has seen Māori (Indigenous peoples) marginalized in our own lands, as evidenced by widespread health, education, socioeconomic, and other Māori-non-Māori disparities. What began in the late 1980s as Kaupapa Māori research within Māori education has spread to other disciplines, including Māori health. Kaupapa Māori health research promotes a structural analysis of Māori health disparities that moves the discourse away from victim-blaming and personal deficits to more fully understanding people’s lives and the systemic determinants of their health and wellness. Describing this work as occurring within a Kaupapa Māori inquiry paradigm enables the exploration of its axiological (i.e., ethical), ontological (i.e., theory about the nature of reality), epistemological (i.e., theory of knowledge), and methodological (i.e., theory about how to find out things) assumptions. Kaupapa Māori health research is called upon to illustrate the nature of the paradigm as well as what it means practically for Māori researchers undertaking Māori health research. As part of transdisciplinary research teams with Māori colleagues, Pākehā (non-Māori) researchers also have important roles to play in this research. The mission of Kaupapa Māori health research is ensuring that Māori health research informs an agenda of Māori being Māori, being fully human, and living in health and prosperity.


Kaupapa Māori Māori Indigenous Paradigm Decolonization Collaboration New Zealand 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Katoa LtdAucklandNew Zealand

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