I am part of the research group Te Koronga, a Māori Postgraduate Research Excellence rōpū at the University of Otago. Te Koronga conducts research with a vision of mauri ora and is underpinned by a Kaupapa Māori philosophy. For the past six years, under the supervision of Associate Professor Anne-Marie Jackson and Professor Chris Hepburn, I have worked alongside Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki of Kāi Tahu and Te Aitanga a Mate of Ngāti Porou primarily in the context of customary fisheries management. For me, as a non-Māori student and researcher, Te Koronga has been a safe space to engage in te ao Māori and Kaupapa Māori research. This paper describes my reflections and explains the lessons I have learned as a non-Māori researcher working in a Kaupapa Māori space.