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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2015, Article ID 137402, 8 pages
Research Article

Whakawhiti Kōrero, a Method for the Development of a Cultural Assessment Tool, Te Waka Kuaka, in Māori Traumatic Brain Injury

1Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, 13 Domain Drive, Whakatāne 3158, New Zealand
2AUT, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Received 3 July 2015; Accepted 1 September 2015

Academic Editor: Nada Andelic

Copyright © 2015 Hinemoa Elder and Paula Kersten. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The importance of tools for the measurement of outcomes and needs in traumatic brain injury is well recognised. The development of tools for these injuries in indigenous communities has been limited despite the well-documented disparity of brain injury. The wairua theory of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Māori proposes that a culturally defined injury occurs in tandem with the physical injury. A cultural response is therefore indicated. This research investigates a Māori method used in the development of cultural needs assessment tool designed to further examine needs associated with the culturally determined injury and in preparation for formal validation. Whakawhiti kōrero is a method used to develop better statements in the development of the assessment tool. Four wānanga (traditional fora) were held including one with whānau (extended family) with experience of traumatic brain injury. The approach was well received. A final version, Te Waka Kuaka, is now ready for validation. Whakawhiti kōrero is an indigenous method used in the development of cultural needs assessment tool in Māori traumatic brain injury. This method is likely to have wider applicability, such as Mental Health and Addictions Services, to ensure robust process of outcome measure and needs assessment development.