MAORIHTH 709 : Transformational Research for Māori Health

Medical and Health Sciences

2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Provides a critical analysis of research and research processes with regard to their potential to colonise or liberate. Drawing on Kaupapa Māori Theory, the course examines how research can be undertaken in ways that are safe for Māori and that contribute to positive Māori development.

Course Overview

This course is aimed at providing students with an understanding of how to apply a Kaupapa Māori Research (KMR) or decolonial/anti-colonial approach to research methods, including analysis and dissemination. It will expose students to a range of approaches and practical tools that can be drawn on in the design and conduct of research about Māori health and wellbeing.

Particular attention will be paid to developing critical thinking and critical reflection skills in relation to research. With these skills, students will build an understanding of the types of research processes and contexts that either support Indigenous self-determination or risk marginalisation and harm. Students will also use this understanding to critique historical and contemporary research approaches and the risks and benefits for Māori health.

Students will be required and supported to read widely on this subject, develop critical reflective practice, and present their work in written and oral presentation formats throughout the course.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: MAORIHTH 710 and 15 points from POPLHLTH 701, 702, 767

Course Contacts

Dr Donna Cormack. Email:
Donna is an Associate Professor at Te Kupenga Hauora Māori at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has a background in work on the collection and classification of ethnicity data in New Zealand, particularly as it relates to measuring and monitoring inequities, the impacts of racism on Indigenous health, and Māori data sovereignty. Her research and teaching interests also include critical and decolonial approaches to health research. She has a joint appointment with Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, at the University of Otago (Wellington).

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically discuss the relationships between Westernised research (historical and contemporary) and colonisation and marginalisation for Māori. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.2)
  2. Discuss Kaupapa Māori Research and/or critical research approaches and how they are applied within quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods settings today (Capability 1.2, 2.1 and 2.2)
  3. Critically evaluate research projects and approaches to health research ethics in terms of their consistency with Kaupapa Māori approaches (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 5.1 and 6.1)
  4. Identify and describe critical issues to be addressed when applying Kaupapa Māori and/or critical research approaches to research projects and research ethics within their own context (Capability 1.1, 2.2 and 5.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Reflective discussions 25% Individual Coursework
Critical review 25% Individual Coursework
Presentation 10% Individual Coursework
Research proposal 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Reflective discussions
Critical review
Research proposal

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at block teaching days to complete components of the course.

Some lectures may be available as recordings.

The course will include online events including group discussions.

The activities for the course are scheduled as block delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Teaching methods include lectures, interactive discussions, on-line discussions and small group work, organised around 5 teaching days. Guest lecturers are involved in the course. Course resources will be available to students online through CANVAS and through the library.
On campus teaching days, classes will run from 9:30am – 1:30pm, with additional course-related activities on some course days in the afternoon (e.g. off-site visits, attendance at relevant seminars). This may differ if delivery is online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The course runs over the second semester. Formal teaching is conducted at the Grafton campus (or online) across five teaching days as follows:
Day 1: Why is Kaupapa Māori research needed?
Day 2: Identity and research
Day 3: Kaupapa Māori research in health
Day 4: Kaupapa Māori research in health
Day 5: Undertaking Kaupapa Māori research  

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.