Searching for good evaluation : a hīkoi : a thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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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. iv 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.
Evaluation research, Maori research, Hikoi, Programme evaluation, Research methodology