Helen Moewaka Barnes

Doctor of Philosophy, (Public Health)
Study Completed: 2009
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Arguing for the spirit in the language of the mind: A Maori practitioner's view of research & science

Ms Moewaka Barnes'' study explores the ways that colonisation has resulted in Maori being cast as different and the other in Aotearoa/New Zealand. She challenges perceptions of relationships between Maori and western knowledge and between science and practice, drawing on a range of theorists, scholarly writings and multiple research and evaluation projects. Her research examines how these perceptions, and the definitions arising from them, tend to compartmentalise Maori knowledge and research and, in doing so, serve non-Maori agendas more than they serve Maori aspirations. A key finding of Ms Moewaka Barnes’ research is the need for more inclusive understanding of knowledge and research practice along with an examination of the nature of science and the roles of researchers. Part of the contribution of her own research is to provide a framework for more equitable research relationships, focusing on non-Maori development

Professor Sally Casswell
Professor Mason Durie