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2.3 Ethical Accountabilities

Of course, work in this field [researching racism] will, inevitably, be fraught with controversy, because the exposure raises important themes of accountability, agency, and human rights (Krieger, 2003, p. 197).

Institutional racism is a sensitive issue to research. The very expression of the concept creates tensions and draws attention to issues of systemic power that are attributable to ‘race’. Given this context and the likely exposure of institutional racism through this research, particular ethical issues emerged for all stakeholders and in particular for me, with my explicit action orientation. Rather than engage exclusively with the Waikato School of Management (n.d.) requirements in considering the ethical elements of this research I acknowledge my multiple accountabilities as a public health researcher, a Tiriti worker and someone conducting research with Māori (see Figure 3). Within this research, I endeavoured to respect the norms set out across these traditions.

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Figure 3: Ethical Frameworks

This figure refers to the Waikato Management School (n.d.) ethics guidelines, Te Ara Tika (Hudson et al., 2010) ethical framework, the Health Research Council’s (2010) guidelines for research that involves Māori, the ethical guidelines developed by the Health Promotion Forum (2011) for health promotion practitioners and the Pākehā treaty worker (Network Waitangi Otautahi, 2002) guidelines.

Approval was granted by the ethics committee of the Waikato Management School for the method and methodological approach for this research. This ethical process required me to describe my research questions and methods including their anticipated benefits and any plans for collaboration and research outputs.

Given the centrality of people in this research, my application specifically addressed issues of informed consent (see appendix F and G) and the rights of participants to privacy, confidentiality and a clear means of disassociation from the research. The application also addressed issues of minimising deception and risk to participants and outlined how I would exercise social and cultural sensitivity.

Informed consent was not secured from those Crown officials that appear within my field notes. This considered decision was taken because in the first instance this study is a piece of structural analysis, looking at the system of racism not the actions of individuals. Secondly, I maintain, as a point of principle the behaviour of all public officials should be open to scrutiny to protect the public’s interests.

Thirdly, I suggest officials and/or managers perpetuating institutional racism would be unlikely to consent to participate in a research project about racism.

Given that individual Crown officials are protected through their anonymity within my field notes, I suggest the larger potential harm or ethical risk that needs to be managed lies in the uninterrupted continuation of systemic racism.

Pākehā Tiriti Worker Guidelines

Health Research


Health Promotion Competencies Waikato

School of Management

Te Ara Tika Guidelines

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Within my professional life, I am ethically accountable to Ngā Kaiakatanga Hauora mō Aotearoa (Health Promotion Forum, 2011). These guidelines emphasise the importance of reflective, evidence-based practice and a commitment to working in collaborative ways that benefit communities. They address the responsibility to increase individual and group autonomy and a duty to work with those whose life conditions place them at greatest risk. They also underscore the importance of Te Tiriti, equitable health outcomes for Māori and the importance of actions, which reflect Māori aspirations of self-determination.

The only misalignment in relation to these guidelines was my decision against working collaboratively with Crown officials within the governance and implementation of this study. This decision was taken so that this work could be driven by the experiences of those targeted by racism rather than being influenced by the perspectives of those working within Crown agencies. I relation to the dissemination of the findings of this research and their implementation, in dialogue with my governance group, I expect this process to involve collaboration with Crown officials.

The Health Research Council (2010) maintains that all health research in Aotearoa is relevant to Māori; therefore, their guidelines on research involving Māori are always applicable. These guidelines establish a benchmark for good practice to ensure research outcomes maintain or enhance mana16 Māori. They address the application of the Treaty of Waitangi, informed consent, ongoing consultation and collaboration with Māori communities, inequities in health between Māori and non-Māori, and the importance of effective implementation and completion of research. The primary components of these guidelines are addressed through the governance structure of this study.

Within the Pākehā Tiriti movement, there exist various articulations of desired ethical behaviour for Tauiwi when supporting Māori achieving tino rangatiratanga (Huygens, 1999, 2002; Network Waitangi Otautahi, 2002). A related paper I co-authored with Tiriti trainer, da Silva (2011) specifically addresses some of the complexities of ethical behaviour for Pākehā in light of systemic breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the enduring impact of colonisation. The paper emphasises the importance of developing core political competencies and co-intentional relationships with Māori.

Te Ara Tika Ethical Framework

All research in New Zealand is of interest to Māori, and research, which includes Māori, is of paramount importance to Māori (Hudson et al., 2010, p. 1).

Māori had been wrestling with ethical issues in this country for hundreds of years prior to European contact. Out of acknowledgement of Māori as tangata whenua (people of the land), I chose to explicitly engage with Te Ara Tika Guidelines for

16 Mana refers to power and authority bestowed, gained or inherited (Hudson et al., 2010, p. 13).

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Māori Research Ethics developed by the Pūtaiora Writing Group (Hudson et al., 2010). This tikanga based framework draws on the previous contributions of kaupapa Māori ethicists, Te Awekotuku (1991), LT Smith (1999), Cram (1993) and Hudson (2004). As well as mitigating risk, the framework aims to provide the means to assess whether research can enhance relationships, and address the concepts of justice and reciprocity to produce tangible outcomes and equitable benefit sharing of the outcomes of research.

The framework (see Figure 4) incorporates the elements of whakapapa, mana, tika (correct) and manaakitanga (hospitality). As a progressive framework, it outlines minimum, good and best practice standards.

Figure 4: Te Ara Tika Ethical Framework

From Te Ara Tika guidelines for Māori, research ethics: A framework for researchers and ethics committee members (p.4), by M. Hudson, M. Milne, P. Reynolds, K. Russell & B. Smith. (2010).

Wellington, New Zealand: Health Research Council. Reprinted with permission.

In the following subsections, I address the components of this emerging framework as they relate to my research.

Whakapapa - He aha te whakapapa o tēnei kaupapa?17

The whakapapa element of Te Ara Tika framework addresses issues surrounding the initial and ongoing consultation and engagement with Māori, and Māori control over processes. As introduced earlier I have been engaged in anti-racism Tiriti work for many years and most recently, my professional work has focused

17 He aha te whakapapa o tēnei kaupapa refers to what are the origins of this research?

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on Māori public health. I have been involved in various collaborative projects with Māori colleagues including developing joint submissions, strategic planning and service development. Over time, I have built trusting relationships with some Māori individuals and groups.

My research topic emerged directly out of dialogue with Māori working in the health sector and as an action area within both the Te Tai Tokerau Public Health and Māori Health plans. My former employer (Te Tai Tokerau MAPO Trust) supported this study and local Māori health leadership chose to tautoko (support) the research through active participation within my research whānau. This rōpū has acted as kaitiaki for the project, signed off the initial proposal and has made a significant ongoing contribution into the research process via regular face-to-face meetings. Their input assisted defining the structure, direction and detail of the study.

My relationships with Māori counter storytellers pre-dated this study and I expect it will be ongoing. I have accommodated the preferences of counter storytellers in terms of a level of disclosure of both their identity and the inclusion and exclusion of particular incidents and experiences they shared. Informed consent was obtained with all research participants and findings shared. The dissemination strategy for the study was developed with my research whānau and it prioritises distributing the findings with Māori stakeholders. The intent of this applied study has consistently been that the findings be utilised to transform racism within the health sector. That is, to remove barriers to the success of Māori providers and thereby contribute to improving health outcomes for whānau.

Tika – Me pehea e tika ai tēnei kaupapa?18

The tika element of Te Ara Tika framework addresses issues surrounding research design. In particular, it assesses Māori participation, use of Māori research paradigms and relevant sampling and recruitment processes. This study emerged out of dialogue with Māori, a pair of regional strategic health plans, an indigenous research agenda and the endorsement and ongoing tautoko of local Māori health leadership.

Māori have been involved throughout this research journey from conception, development, implementation and dissemination. As a doctoral student, this study has been a steep learning curve and I have not positioned myself as a research authority. Rather I have engaged with my research whānau as a co-enquirer, retaining the responsibility for the graft of the study. I understand there has been mutual learning about both doing activist scholarship and the dynamics of institutional racism. Opportunities to share findings and discuss research methodology and method with interested Māori stakeholders have been taken and I have remained engaged in local Māori health development as my capacity permitted.

18 Me pehea e tika ai tēnei kaupapa refers to how will the project proceed correctly?

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Kaupapa Māori theory was a key methodological influence on this study. My engagement with kaupapa Māori led me to elevate indigenous voices through the study and incorporate critical structural analysis of state behaviour. Within the study I attempted to actively manage my Pākehā ethnocentrism and affirm Māori experience as ordinary within this study for instance through my use of Te Reo.

My research whānau provided useful ongoing political and cultural advice to ensure the work remained relevant.

At this point, it is unclear what outcomes will result from this study and therefore the potential impact on Māori. This study may support the conscientisation around issues of institutional racism and lead to more effective activism. It may lead to positive changes in Crown practice in relation to policy-making, funding practices that improve the operating environment for Māori providers. It may lead to further investigation of racism within the health sector and other related sectors that transform institutional racism.

Manaakitanga – Mā wai e manaaki tēnei kaupapa?19

The manaakitanga element of Te Ara Tika framework addresses issues surrounding appropriate cultural behaviour, social responsibility and spiritual integrity. It assesses whether the mana of both parties are upheld through the research process.

I recognise that for me this study is both an academic and a spiritual journey about putting things right. This study has an activist orientation, and my intention is to identify the detail of how Māori are systematically disadvantaged within the administration of the public health sector. I respect the challenging role Crown officials fulfil within the health sector and acknowledge the web of personal and professional relationships I have with those officials.

Standard research practices of informed consent have preserved the confidentiality of research participants who have chosen not to be identified. Many within this study have however chosen to be identified alongside their counter narratives, to both demonstrate their tautoko of the kaupapa and to be transparent and specific in their challenge to Crown agencies. All counter storytellers were given the opportunity to review their contributions in light of the final draft to ensure they were comfortable with the representation.

As a Pākehā Tiriti worker, I have deliberately examined over time my own cultural assumptions and idiosyncrasies to establish a base of cultural competency that I continue to strengthen. Alongside this self-development work I have considerable experience working with Māori in assorted contexts and I have developed some proficiency in Te Reo me ōna tikanga. Within this study, this

19 Mā wai e manaaki tēnei kaupapa refers to who will ensure respect is maintained?

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knowledge base was enhanced by cultural and political advice, and guidance from my research whānau and others.

Whakawhanaungatanga20 was practised throughout the research process with counter storytellers, my research whānau and with many participating public health providers. It was not practiced however in the extraction of funding data from public health funders through official information channels. Manaakitanga was practiced through the sharing of food and use of karakia (prayer) with my research whānau and some counter storytellers. Care was taken to take breaks during storytelling to process emotionally charged content and work within agreed timeframes.

Mana – Kei a wai te mana mō tēnei kaupapa?21

The mana element of Te Ara Tika framework addresses elements of equity and distributive justice. Specifically it focuses on issues surrounding ownership of data, collective consent and reciprocity with tangata whenua and more particularly mana whenua (local people).

This study is the product of the combined efforts of my research whānau, my academic supervisors, a community of supporters and me. As an activist scholarship project, there is an implicit responsibility amongst my research whānau and myself to present, publish and otherwise utilise these findings. As a doctoral student, I have assumed the bulk of this responsibility and will continue to co-present and publish with members of my research whānau and counter storytellers as opportunities present. Likewise, there will be occasions, particularly within Māori settings, where Māori members of my research whānau or counter storytellers may represent this study. The detail of my dissemination strategy is outlined in Appendix D.

This study emerged out of dialogue with Māori and will be returned to that same community. As a Pākehā practitioner, I was welcomed into the Māori health community and was granted privileged access. Through this access, I gained much, in terms of deeper understanding of Māori public health and the wider operating environment within which Māori providers engage. This exposure made me a more versatile and resourceful public health practitioner and academic. The process of collecting Māori stories, witnessing and analysing Crown behaviour and synthesising this information into a useable evidence base is my koha (gift) to the Māori health community.

Collective consent was obtained for this study through the agreement of senior Māori decision-makers to be part of the research whānau. The Māori providers they represent have governance structures that variously represent local whānau,

20 Whakawhanaungatanga refers to the active process of relationship building and getting to know one another.

21 Kei a wai te mana mō tēnei kaupapa refers to who has control over the study?

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hapū and iwi across Ngāpuhi nui tonu. Other interested local Māori providers not formally represented within my research whānau were kept up to date with key developments in the research.

It is important to acknowledge that given the exposure of systemic discrimination as practiced by Crown agencies against Māori providers in this study, those that participated whether as research whānau members or as counter storytellers, were both gallant and brave. Such informed contributions and participation were not without professional and personal risk within the constraints of the current operating environment.

In recognition of Royal’s (1998) distinction between mātauranga Māori and kaupapa Māori, as a Pākehā researcher, I have chosen not to work with the former.