The 2014 Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) conference theme – Our House, Our Whare, Our Fale: Building Strong Evaluation in Aotearoa New Zealand – had a focus on building robust evaluation in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Implications for Evaluation in Aotearoa New Zealand in the Post Treaty Settlement Era.
Nan was the opening keynote on the first day of the conference (7 July 2014) and spoke about the challenges and opportunities of building evaluation capacity and capability to respond to the emerging needs of Iwi (tribal groups) for evaluation. She highlighted the substantial growth in the economic asset base of Iwi (tribes) as a result of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process and the significant (and growing) Māori contribution to the NZ economy.
“Iwi as managers and stewards of tribal financial assets have a range of responsibilities and accountabilities. To invest wisely and to make ‘good’ decisions which respond to the social, cultural, economic and environmental aspirations of Iwi. It is these decisions and accountability back to the people from which the need for evaluation arises.”
The implications for evaluators Include the need to grow our understanding in an Iwi context of:
- what ‘good’ evaluation looks like
- what counts as evidence
- what’s valued and important to Iwi
Nan put forward a range of paradigm shifts (e.g. from evaluator as expert to Iwi as expert); revisiting the nature of power sharing and control of evaluation; and korero tuku iho (stories handed down) to respond the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing nature and scope of evaluation within Aotearoa New Zealand.