It is widely accepted that traditional Māori research was based on Māori methodologies, philosophies and world-views. Since first contact with Europeans, Māori have been the focus of a substantial amount of research that has spanned time and crossed research disciplines from early anthropological and linguistic studies to the sociological, cultural and scientific research of today. In recent times Māori have asserted that research undertaken in New Zealand should be more cognisant of Māori research and development aspirations and of a Māori world-view. The current study aimed to create an instrument to assess the contribution research activities undertaken in the contemporary New Zealand research, science and technology (RS&T) sector could make to Māori development. An important output of the study has been the development of a framework, Te Ihu Waka. The framework is based on traditional Māori concepts, is compatible with Māori world-views, and is relevant to the contemporary RS&T environment. Te Ihu Waka is located at the interface between Māori aspirations and the contemporary New Zealand RS&T sector. While this study found Māori goals for research are not always adequately met by current arrangements in New Zealand's RS&T sector, it was concluded that there is potential for progress if tools to negotiate the interface between Māori aspirations and research are available.