ABSTRACT. Development of Pacific research guidelines can become unnecessarily cluttered, with competing, unclear designs, and gaps in the transference of customary knowledge across space and time. Standard ethics discourse goes some way in coming to know the bones of the person in a general context, but in relational ethics we are called to put a’ano (flesh) on the bones of personhood, recognising our commitments to each other in the humanity of relationships. This article discusses the concrete but subjective relationship between people at all stages of Pacific research. Relational spaces in a Pacific experience clarify research praxis. The philosophy of ‘teu le va’ focuses on secular and sacred commitments, guiding reciprocal ‘acting in’ and respect for relational spaces. Primarily concerned with the theoretical and philosophical nature of teu le va, this article traces the genealogy of its incorporation in government research guidelines to show how indigenous Pacific ethics have potential to shape educational research in New Zealand. pp. 117–130

Keywords: relational ethics; teu le va; Samoan indigenous philosophy; emancipatory paradigm

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University of Auckland

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