He Kōrero Whānau is a component of a wider whānau and hapū development project within Te Rarawa, an iwi located in the Far North of Aotearoa. It aimed to prepare and support whānau and hapū to record their own histories, and in doing so to develop research methods and strategies to suit Te Rarawa purposes and realities. The innovation of the approach is the inclusion of oral and life histories in any interview-based research Te Rarawa might undertake, and the training of community interviewers in the skills of research and oral history interviews. The approach is grounded in iwi and hapū development and responsive to needs and aspirations. It also works to demystify research and focuses on research making a difference in Te Rarawa communities. This paper discusses our experience of developing Te Rarawa research methods and applying them in ways that harmonise with the goals of Te Rarawa iwi development.

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