This article provides a brief synopsis of using kaupapa Māori approaches in initiating my doctoral research and collecting the data through interviews. I examine these approaches from four different aspects. The first discusses whanaungatanga as a recruitment methodology. Additional topics explored include tikanga Māori and accessing knowledge. The second considers the insider–outsider relationship and the advantages or disadvantages of holding either position. I also discuss whether these positions are a binary or dichotomy from a Māori perspective, in my role as interviewer and my interactions with Nana, the fi rst participant. Thirdly, I look at the Māori concepts of ahi kā, ahi teretere and ahi mātao in regards to my own connections to my interviewees’ tribal regions, and in seeking their agreement to participate in the research. Finally, I examine the significance of kanohi kitea in my relationships with the interviewees.