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Principle 2: Pono & Tika

Principle 2: Maintain public confidence and trust to use data. This principle includes ngā tikanga Pono (true to the principles of culture) and Tika (value for all).

Pono | True to the principles of culture

He whakamārama | Meaning

Kua whakatinanatia, kua kitea ōna hua, ā, kua tutuki tētahi kaupapa.

The concept that something is true and valid to the principles of Māori culture and is usually considered alongside tika, the concept of doing what is right and correct.


The level of accountability to communities of interest is explained and there is community support for the research.

This tikanga consideration examines the evidence researchers can provide to demonstrate they have made themselves accountable to communities in the use of data about them, or who may be impacted by its use.

This may include letters of support and other forms of evidence showing there is support for the research.

Researchers can also comment about the level of understanding and support that the communities of interest have in the research.

Things to consider

  • Evidence that communities, especially those the data is about or who are impacted by its use, understand the purpose of the research.
  • Evidence demonstrating community support for the research, such as letters of support from key community leaders or advocates.
  • Responsibility to seek advice from communities as a part of the research process and for the advice to be treated with respect.
  • Accountability measures in place.
  • An acknowledgement that there may be different levels of support, and even some opposition. Good practice requires that all groups are engaged throughout the research process, including those whose support is tenuous or opposed.

Tika | Value for all

He whakamārama | Meaning

E whai take ana, i takea mai i ngā pūtake e mōhiotia ana he pono, e whakaarotia ana rānei he pono, he tōtika. E ū ana ki te pono, e ū ana rānei ki ngā pūtake e mōhiotia ana, e whakaarotia ana rānei he pono.

The concept of correctness or being right is a base principle that applies to all tikanga. Practice of a particular tikanga needs to be correct and right, and should be considered alongside what is true and valid to Māori culture.


Research should be part of a body of work that contributes towards better outcomes for Māori and New Zealanders.

This tikanga consideration examines what the researchers are attempting to do and how their research will contribute towards the aspirations of the communities of interest and, more broadly, the long-term wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

Researchers should:

  • describe the purpose of accessing the data, and how its use is important to the research
  • explain clearly the benefits the research will bring to communities, and particularly those who will be impacted on by the data.

For research about iwi and Māori, researchers should demonstrate how responsive the research is towards Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi, which could include enhancing the Māori-Crown relationship or contributions towards Māori development.

For research that impacts on other sections of society, researchers should demonstrate how the research will support overall development and wellbeing, especially for the most marginalised communities.

Things to consider

  • The anticipated positive effects on people.
  • Whether the wider public knows data about them is being used in this way.
  • Whether the research contributes towards:
    • goals of the communities of interest (including iwi and Māori)
    • long-term wellbeing and development for all New Zealanders
    • stronger Māori-Crown relationships that might enhance iwi, hapū, and whānau development
    • government priorities
    • government inquiries into matters of public interest
    • any community-led wellbeing initiatives that others could support and learn from
    • data initiatives that maintain a sustainable data system.

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Content last reviewed 23 November 2020.

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