This thesis uses the metaphor of a journey, a hīkoi, as a methodology for exploring
programme evaluation in Aotearoa New Zealand and further afield. The word hīkoi
meaning walk or march, was the name given to the mobilisation of large numbers of
Māori (indigenous New Zealanders) in street marches to Aotearoa New Zealand’s
parliament to claim justice and self-determination premised on the Treaty of Waitangi.
Hīkoi has become associated with these marches and the concept of a collective journey
of Māori towards self-determination.
This doctoral hīkoi is an exploration of the movement in Aotearoa New Zealand toward
tino rangatiratanga – Māori self-determination in programme evaluation.
Hīkoi is a research methodology and an approach to evaluation. It is based on a
Kaupapa Māori theoretical platform where the focus is on the journey. It is a collective
journey, where goals are negotiated and shared, relationships highly valued and the
journey is as important as reaching a destination. Hīkoi relationships drove the direction
of this research and shaped the research question: What makes evaluation good for
Māori and other indigenous peoples? 1
The thesis explores this overarching question from a number of different perspectives
on the journey. One key finding is that tino rangatiratanga over evaluations is important
in order for evaluation processes and outcomes to be meaningful and useful to Māori.
1 Indigenous is a term of self-identification. In this thesis the term is used based on the following (United Nations
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues): Self- identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and
accepted by the community as their member; Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies;
Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources; Distinct social, economic or political systems; Distinct
language, culture and beliefs; Form non-dominant groups of society; Resolve to maintain and reproduce their
ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities.
The proliferation of Kaupapa Māori and ‘by Māori for Māori’ evaluations in recent
years is an indication that significant progress has been made towards tino
rangtiratanga, but there is some distance to travel before Māori worldviews and values
are normative in the evaluations of all programmes that impact Māori communities.
Findings indicate that Māori progress toward self-determination is greater than for many
other indigenous peoples. Some are just beginning their journeys. The research reveals
some of the benefits of indigenous peoples joining together to support each other,
wherever they are at, on the indigenous evaluation hīkoi.