Case study research for TPK re improving Māori workforce literacy

Project dates: 
Apr-2008 to May-2008
Description of the project: 

This research was commissioned by Te Puni Kōkiri, to investigate adult workforce literacy programmes that worked well for Māori. The project involved case study investigation - to hear the voice of Māori and identify their experience of, and outcomes from, such programmes. The aim was to identify 'good practice' information.

The four case studies were:

  1. The Tūwharetoa Adult Literacy Initiative under the mantle of the Tūwharetoa Trust Board in Taupō, which had a service agreement with Literacy Aotearoa.
  2. The Commercial Fishing and Processing Course delivered by the Westport Deep Sea Fishing School, a Private Training Establishment.
  3. Whakatō te Mātauranga under the mantle of the Waikaremoana Māori Trust Board, a Kahungunu-based provider in Hastings.
  4. TeamWorks, a four day onsite leadership programme at EDI Downer Works.
My involvement: 

My role was to:

  • conduct onsite focus groups, or one to one interviews, with Māori learners, their tutor/s and the service providers and /or employers;
  • undertake documentary analysis ie background reading of relevant documentation prior to onsite visits;
  • extrapolate the themes that fell out of the literature and the programme evaluations, as a framework for the interviews;
  • design interview questions for three different interviewee cohorts, based on the aforementioned themes;
  • synthesise the features of good practice;
  • write a report on the findings
Key skills used: 
  • Consulting egTertiary Education Commission; respective providers
  • Facilitating on-site focus groups
  • Writing in plain English e.g. information sheet, consent form, research report
  • Designing interview schedules tailored to different stakeholders (based on common themes)
  • Face-to-face interview skills
  • Analysing documentation
  • Working in a culturally-appropriate way e.g. manaakitanga through kai and koha for participants

The findings of this case study research, published in a report, contributed to work by the State Sector in improving Māori workforce literacy. Of particular interest to government were the benefits of participation in such programmes, and the features of good practice.