Conceptualisation and measurement of iwi wellbeing : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Health at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Measures used in the New Zealand health sector to gauge the state of Māori health and the
effectiveness of health services are poorly aligned to Māori understandings of wellbeing and iwi
and Māori community aspirations. This thesis explores the conceptualisation and measurement
of wellbeing from an iwi perspective and is therefore distinct in that it is localised within an iwicentred
Māori inquiry paradigm that privileges iwi worldviews.
The study has been informed by a qualitative methodology and a multi-methods approach that
included a literature review, three Ngai Tai marae-based wānanga and 14 key informant
interviews. The term iwi vitality was identified in this research as best capturing iwi aspirations
for wellbeing. Central to the concept of iwi vitality is the notion that iwi are able to actively
determine what matters to them from a local perspective and how best to monitor progress
towards the achievement of iwi vitality. Iwi vitality is both ecologically localised and context
specific, and is best expressed through the following seven iwi vitality outcomes that have been
derived from this study - a secure iwi identity, intergenerational sustainability, collective
cohesion, environmental stewardship, self-determination, economic prosperity and whānau
health and wellbeing. In combination these outcomes reflect what constitutes iwi vitality.
Progress towards the achievement of iwi vitality can be measured in a way that is consistent
with iwi values and aspirations, through the application of the Iwi Vitality Outcomes
Framework described in this thesis. The framework is based on iwi values, and therefore is
located within an iwi paradigm. Application of the framework provides a mechanism through
which iwi are able to align their efforts to iwi vitality outcomes, effectively monitor what
matters to them and plan for the future towards the realisation of iwi vitality.