Te Kete Tū Ātea: Towards claiming Rangitīkei iwi data sovereignty

Heather Gifford, Kirikowhai Mikaere


This article overviews the Te Kete Tū Ātea research project, which aimed to identify and address the iwi (tribal) data needs of the Rangitīkei Iwi Collective (Collective) thereby contributing to their establishment of iwi data sovereignty. This four-year study, carried out in two phases, adopted a Kaupapa Māori approach meaning that it was Māori led, Māori controlled, and privileged a Māori world view. The research drew on participatory action research methods under the broader umbrella of a Kaupapa Māori approach. The iwi information framework, also named Te Kete Tū Ātea, was developed during phase one of the research. The need for the framework was highlighted by the challenges Collective members face in planning for future iwi development in the frequent absence of access to coherent sets of iwi population-level data. Though the data needs of each iwi differ, common data needs also exist. Te Kete Tū Ātea iwi information framework has been designed to support the iwi making up the Collective to address their own specific data needs using five framework domains. In phase two of the study an element of the framework, the economic domain, was tested with iwi resulting in better positioning them to access and draw on population-level economic data.

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