Mahi whanau (2) ‘Reflecting on the use of consensus cardsort as an effective process for whanau Maori to construct a future narrative’

Thumbnail Image
Other Title
O'Reilly, Denis
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Social Practice
Unitec Institute of Technology
Bridgman, Geoffrey
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
consensus cardsort
whānau Māori
Māori development
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
O'Reilly, D. (2008). Mahi whanau (2) ‘Reflecting on the use of consensus cardsort as an effective process for whanau Maori to construct a future narrative’. An unpublished dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Practice, Unitec New Zealand.
This dissertation, Mahi Whanau (2), explores and reflects on the use of ‘Consensus Cardsort Future Narrative’ as an appropriate developmental process with whanau Maori who are seeking to realise their potential, change life circumstances, and achieve a better quality of life. The paper establishes an academic underpinning of the Consensus Cardsort Whanau Future Narrative process within the context of what the Ministry of Maori Development, Te Puni Kokiri, calls the ‘Maori Potential Framework’. It canvasses the nature of Maori Community Development, the emergent epistemology of Transdisciplinarity, and the nature of Futurority and the expectation of a better future from a Maori perspective. The research approach is based on Kaupapa Maori Theory, holding that Maori are multi-dimensional, aspirational, and with distinctive culture and values. The results of the study confirm that Consensus Cardsort is easy to use, is an appropriate process for Maori, and, as Future Narrative, has potentially transformational impact. It can be improved in process by stipulating stages, commencing with envisioning, moving to action planning, and followed by progress review. A further stream of added impact can be developed by applying the Consensus Cardsort process as an action research method within an organisational system such as Te Puni Kokiri’s ‘Maori Potential Policy Framework’. The process of creating ‘Whanau 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 Maori whanau and stimulates the power to act and seek optimal sustainable success. Through their Future Narrative the whanau stipulate their action agenda. By enabling Tikanga Maori based concepts, the Consensus Cardsort Whanau Future Narrative process provides cultural locus and is ‘acculturating’. In promoting Maori achievement, the process encourages Maori to express tino rangatiratanga by drawing on and utilising their ‘Mana ake’, their unique contribution to Aotearoa/New Zealand. In summary, this dissertation reflects on the efficacy of Consensus Cardsort as a device to evoke Whanau Future Narrative, and on the use of Cardsort as a research method that can feed into Maori policy development. It proposes an empowering process to stimulate positive change at a whanau and community level and Maori Development at a governmental level.
Link to ePress publication
Copyright holder
Copyright notice
All rights reserved
Copyright license
Available online at