‘Consensus Cardsort Future Narrative’ is an appropriate developmental process for whānau Māori who are seeking to realise their potential, change life circumstances, and achieve a better quality of life within the context of whānau ora. This Participative Action Research approach is based on Kaupapa Māori Theory, holding that Māori are multi-dimensional, aspirational, and holding distinctive culture and values.

Consensus Cardsort is easy to use. Essentially, participants are asked a ‘what’ or ‘how’ question and are asked to write one response or idea on a card. The individual participant can make as many responses as they like. The cards are then collected, shuffled, and re-distributed amongst the participants. They discuss what is written, cluster like responses, and summarise the clusters. The summaries provide the ‘bones’ of a narrative’. Where the process is used to produce a “Future Narrative” it can have a potentially transformational impact for the participant whānau. A further stream of value is added by applying the Consensus Cardsort process as a Participative Action Research method within an organisational system such as a hapu or an iwi. 

The process of creating ‘Whānau Future Narrative’ through Consensus Cardsort develops aspirations that emerge from self-analysis rather than from a ‘you should’ injunction, or from a determination by others. The Consensus Cardsort Future Narrative process invests authority and responsibility within the Māori whānau and stimulates the power to act and seek optimal sustainable success. Through their Future Narrative the whānau stipulate their action agenda. When the process is undertaken as a collective of whānau it can be used to initiate marae and hapu action plans. By enabling Tikanga Māori based concepts, the Consensus Cardsort Whānau Future Narrative process provides cultural locus and is ‘acculturating’. In promoting Māori achievement, the process encourages Māori to express tino rangātiratanga by drawing on and utilising their ‘Mana ake’, their unique contribution to Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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