The Traditional Knowledge Conference 2008 focused on traditional knowledge and gateways to balanced relationships. The conference title, Te Tatau Pounamu: The Greenstone Door, referred in a figurative sense to how, in times of trouble, peace could be secured and warfare ended through a political marriage and the exchange of greenstone. The peace thus established was often likened to a greenstone door as both were seen as being durable, strong and highly valuable.
This monograph explores the ways in which collaborative research relationships with Māori communities can be developed effectively and appropriately. The focus is the institutional and epistemological environments that social researchers work within. While there is a growing body of international literature about the engagement of social sciences research with indigenous communities, there are relatively few researchers who actively theorise the institutional, political, and conceptual frameworks surrounding the research engagement process with indigenous communities.
High quality research leading to practical outcomes that result in the development and advancement of Māori is fundamental to the future of the nation. It is important that policy analysts are provided a forum where they can be brought together with Māori researchers who are leading the development of this high quality research. For this reason, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, The National Institute of Research Excellence for Māori Development and Advancement, initiated a Research and Policy Seminar Series designed to create a space for dialogue between policy analysts and Māori researchers.
The inaugural Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Seminar Series 2004 and inaugural Professorial Lectures were well received by the seminar attendees. The kaupapa of the seminars and inaugural lectures was to showcase Māori researchers and their work. The seminars have provided an opportunity for showcasing an excellent sampling of the wealth of Māori research excellence which exists.
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga’s inaugural Traditional Knowledge Conference was held in June 2004. The theme of this international conference was traditional knowledge and research ethics. The authors of the papers come from Australia (Torres Straits Islands), the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Tonga, and from many iwi and organisations of Aotearoa/New Zealand.