December 12, 2018
Twin vision in rongoā research guidelines
One of the contributors to a new set of guidelines for people researching rongoā Māori says it's a mistake to try to merge Māori and western methodology.
The guidelines were developed by Whakaue Research for Māori Health & Development at the request of Māori research centre Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.
Rongoā Māori healer Donna Kerridge says when people come to healers to help with research, it is often a challenge to communication.
She says western science and how Māori view the world need to be seen as separate, rather than ignoring what might be important.
"Researchers are going 'so this wairua stuff, I'm not sure I get that, so we'll just pretend it doesn't exist.' The scientists are having to say 'these guys have got no trials done, no evidence to support their claims. OK, we'll talk to them anyway.' And we don't want people doing that. We want people to just acknowledge the two ways of seeing the world for what they are and not try to make one look like the other in order to do some research," Ms Kerridge says.
Researchers need to develop an understanding of Te Ao Māori values and the practice of Rongoā Māori before engaging with future Rongoā study participants, and also to be aware of Māori concerns about the exploitation of traditional knowledge for commercial gain.
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