July 21, 2017

Te Puawai o te Ahi Kaa Project Evaluation

Te Puawai o te Ahi Kaa Project Evaluation

Te Puawai o Te Ahi Kaa (TPoTAK) Project is being collaboratively undertaken by Raetihi Pah and Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority. This innovative Kaupapa Māori initiative is based on the role of the marae as the house of the hapū; the place of cultural sustenance and vitality for whānau. It recognises that the health and wellbeing of those whānau who maintain the ahi kaa is critical to the sustainability of the paepae and marae. The project commenced in mid-2014 and shortly afterwards Whakauae Research Services was engaged to evaluate it. The evaluation design is based on a participatory research approach to “evaluate with” rather than carry out an “evaluation of ” Te Puawai o Te Ahi Kaa. Whilst the design uses methods described in Western research literature it draws primarily on qualitative approaches using a Māori worldview.

Outcomes / Achievements

At the beginning of 2015 Phase Two of the evaluation commenced. Evaluation activities included development of rubrics tables as a tool to help make evaluation assessments (regarding project activities and outcomes) transparent. A focus group interview, a survey of project participants, kaimahi recording of photo narratives and muralling methods were used. In the initial data analysis phase key findings and themes were identified. The evaluators shared these results with whānau in a data ‘sense-making’ process which was part of the December 2015 whānau day held at the marae. The day provided an opportunity for the evaluators to meet face to face with the wider whānau.

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