Skip to content

Principle 1: Pūkenga & Whakapapa

Principle 1: Have appropriate expertise, skills, and relationships with communities. This principle includes ngā tikanga Pūkenga (skills and expertise) and Whakapapa (genealogy).

Pūkenga | Skills and expertise

He whakamārama | Meaning

Kua whai mātauranga (te tangata) me ērā atu āhuatanga e taea ana te ako, e tutuki pai ai i a ia tētahi mahi.

A positive trait of a person who is skilled, very knowledgeable, and can be considered a learned person.


Researchers demonstrate an awareness of and intention to work with data in culturally appropriate ways.

This tikanga consideration examines the skills and knowledge that will guide researchers to act ethically and responsibly with data. This includes researchers:

  • demonstrating an awareness of and intention to work with data in culturally appropriate ways by following the tikanga considerations of this framework
  • acknowledging that they can provide a balanced and informed perspective in their analysis to eliminate bias as much as possible.

Things to consider

  • Awareness and respect for cultural values of communities who are highlighted in the research.
  • Previous experience delivering research about communities.
  • Acknowledgement of the current realities of communities and demonstrating an intent to work with them when possible.
  • Previous data analysis experience including experience working in the data lab.
  • The level of understanding of public interest in the topic.

Whakapapa | Genealogy

He whakamārama | Meaning

Ngā kāwai o te tangata, o te whānau, o te hapū, o te iwi, ka tīmata ake i tētahi atua, i tētahi tupuna rānei, ka heke iho.

Whakapapa is the genealogical descent of all living things from the gods to the present time. The meaning of whakapapa is ‘to lay one thing upon another’ as, for example, to lay one generation upon another.


Researchers establish suitable relationships with communities before undertaking substantive research.

This tikanga consideration examines the nature of researchers’ existing relationships with the communities who will be most highlighted in their research.

This might include partnership-relationships that researchers have established with whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori advisory groups, special councils, community members, expert advisors, or interested groups who are assisting the research.

Researchers should comment on how these relationships will be leveraged in a meaningful way to add value to the research. Some institutions have existing external relationships with key partners and stakeholders and the researchers may leverage these relationships.

Things to consider

  • The quality and health of relationships between researchers and communities of interest.
  • How these relationships will be leveraged to ensure insights and community perspectives contribute and add value to the research.
  • Stakeholder engagement, including processes that allow communities to engage with researchers throughout the research lifecycle.

Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, email

Content last reviewed 23 November 2020.