The beauty of te ao Māori is the pragmatic fluidity of many of our concepts. Generally employed to explain our genealogical links and connections to land, whakapapa can also be applied within the context of rangahau to organise, structure, analyse and understand information, experiences and relationships. This article introduces Te Waka Pounamu, a whakapapa-based framework developed as a methodological research model for my doctoral studies. Included in the whakapapa framework is a tikanga Māori model I have named Te Tuamaka. This model is the practical aspect of the theoretical whakapapa framework in that it guides and supports the ways my rangahau will be carried out. The following discussion introduces and demonstrates how Te Waka Pounamu and Te Tuamaka promote Māori ways of knowing, being and doing as valid methodological approaches to rangahau.