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Methodology

This chapter summarises how we collected information on Crown–Māori engagement.

Who we interviewed

We conducted interviews with representatives from various central government agencies, plus three entities –Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Lakes District Health Board, and Te Taura Whiri. We included these ‘non-Crown’ entities because they had been established to engage with, and deliver products and services to, Māori and carry out defined roles for Māori.

We chose agencies that:

  • are involved in regular engagement with Māori entities
  • have an active role in matters relating to or of significance to Māori.

We interviewed representatives from:

  • Department of Conservation
  • Department of Internal Affairs
  • Lakes District Health Board
  • Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Ministry for the Environment
  • Ministry for Primary Industries
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Justice (specifically representatives from the Office of Treaty Settlements, and the Post Settlements Commitments Unit)
  • Ministry of Social Development
  • Te Ohu Kaimoana – Māori Fisheries Trust
  • Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry for Māori Development
  • Te Taura Whiri – Māori Language Commission.

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The interview questionnaire

To guide the interview process, we developed a set of questions that would provide:

  • interviewers with a structure for the interviews and a checklist of the key topic areas for discussion
  • interviewees with a sense of the topic areas and questions for discussion, and to provide some structure to the interview process
  • the Māori entities (and classes of entities) that government agencies need statistical information about
  • a good understanding of the potential statistical information needs these Māori entities may have (eg for their development purposes).

The interview questions

  • What is the basis for the engagement you undertake with Māori entities? (For example, the engagement could be underpinned by some legislative or regulatory requirement(s), or related to a joint project you are working on, or based on some formal/informal relationship agreement).
  • Who are the Māori entities that you’re are engaging with? Where are they from/located?
  • What do you know about these entities? (For example, are they an iwi or hapū entity or do they represent another grouping?)
  • What types of entities are these? (How are they constituted? what is the purpose of the entity(ies)?)
  • What is the nature of the engagement between your agency and the Māori entities you engage with? (For example, is it ongoing or regular or formalised engagement or informal and irregular engagement?)
  • Why is this engagement occurring? (What is motivating the engagement? Statutory requirements? Joint projects? Treaty settlement requirement? Other?)
  • What is the objective and/or purpose of the engagement? (ie nature of focus & content both for the Māori entity(ies) and your agency).
  • What is the focus of the engagement? Is this changing? How is this changing?
  • What are the statistical information needs that support, or flow from, this engagement?
  • How can Statistics NZ better support this engagement? (Both now and in the future and for both your agency and/or the Māori entity(ies) you’re engaged with?) 

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The interview process

We did not limit our questions to any particular type of Māori entity the agencies were engaging with. We had no pre-determination about which entities might be ‘of interest’ or ‘within scope’ for our interviews.

Our intention was to gather as broad a picture as possible of the engagement occurring within each of the agencies. We chose this approach as it would allow a much fuller picture to be gathered of the various types of entities that agencies are dealing with (including those entities that would potentially sit outside of the ‘iwi classification’), and the types of engagement taking place.

We interviewed staff members who were heavily involved in and/or knowledgeable and experienced in Māori engagement at their respective agency, who could also provide their organisations’ perspective and strategic overview of Māori engagement.

Because of time and resource constraints, we were not able to interview a large selection of staff members from each of agency. However, we gained valuable overviews and perspectives the agencies interviewed.

Limitations of this report

It is important to outline the limitations of this report and to acknowledge what this report does not do.

Firstly, this report does not provide a comprehensive picture of Crown–Māori engagement; it only provides a snapshot of Crown–Māori engagement as reflected by the perspectives from those agencies (and individuals) we interviewed.

Secondly, the report does not provide a Māori perspective of Crown–Māori relationships; only perspectives from the government representatives we interviewed. It is likely that Māori would provide a very different perspective of Crown–Māori relationships.

Thirdly, the report does not provide specific detail on the use of statistical information about or for Māori across government, nor any detail of specific information and statistics needs for each of the government agencies interviewed.

The report only provides a snapshot of some perspectives of Crown–Māori statistical information needs from a Crown perspective.

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