This paper expresses a number of concerns about the uncritical acceptance of kaupapa Maori research (KMR) methodology in New Zealand science policy deliberations and many areas of research theory and practice. We begin by discussing KMR methodology within the context of postcolonial science studies, and then question its commitment to a relativistic view of science. The relationship between political ideology and science policy is then discussed. Thereafter, a brief characterisation, and critique, of a number of features of KMR methodology are offered, and it is suggested that a scientific realist methodology provides a good basis for research that is designed to produce worthwhile knowledge. Specifically, a pragmatic realist methodology is offered to KMR adherents as an approach that could effectively meet their stated research objectives. We conclude by urging KMR advocates to reconsider the merits of their view of methodology in the light of the strengths of scientific realist methodology.
|New Zealand Science Review
|Published - 2006