This journal is not accepting submissions at this time.

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • If published, I agree to the article being made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 ( license.

Author Guidelines


Mahika Kai Journal is an open access journal that publishes multidisciplinary peer-reviewed articles that critically analyse, address and record indigenous mahika kai narratives including traditional and contemporary food practices, science and innovation, as well as whenua (land, sea and fresh water) and te taiao (environment, sustainability, productive landscapes). Mahika Kai Journal publishes two issues per year, the first in April and the second in November. Mahika Kai Journal is only published online. We aim to publish articles that substantively engage with both intellectual, innovative and applied indigenous narratives.

Submission of Articles
Articles should be submitted to the Editors through the online submission portal.
We will acknowledge submission of your paper by email. The editorial office can be contacted directly at

Journal Requirements
Mahika Kai Journal is committed to meeting and upholding the standard of ethical behaviour at all stages of the publication process. Contributors are expected to meet internationally accepted guidelines on carrying out ethical and culturally competent research involving indigenous peoples and conform to the standards for authors set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Please see our Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement which outlines the responsibilities of all parties involved in publishing with Mahika Kai Journal .

The following factors are considered when evaluating a manuscript’s suitability for publication in Mahika Kai Journal :

Originality and Scope of the Journal
Mahika Kai Journal seeks to build bridges between the academic study of indigenous affairs and theory and practical or empirical issues in the modern world. The manuscript should link theory and practice in a way that sheds light on the present state of indigenous theory, thinking and practice, and make sense out of concrete issues, whether they are at local, national or global levels. The manuscript should offer new, original insights or interpretations that have not been published before or are under consideration for publication at another journal. The Editors, Editorial Board and reviewers for this journal commonly have a strong familiarity with Kaupapa Māori methodologies and therefore authors should avoid repeating arguments which have already been well established in this particular literature. If the manuscript has emerged from an academic thesis, authors should ensure that it works as a stand-alone article rather than a slightly modified thesis chapter.

Cultural Competency and Community Representation
The manuscript should reflect the author’s understanding and respect of indigenous worldviews. If the research reported directly involved an indigenous community, the author should have ensured the community contributed to the design of the research and interpretation of results in the context of cultural norms and traditional knowledge. Authors must guarantee the community and individual participants were given say in the anonymity and use of data. Dishonest, false or culturally incompetent statements and research conduct constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable. See the entry under indigenous research ethics below for further details.

Authors are responsible for referencing all articles correctly. The work and words of others must be appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.

Reporting Standards
Authors are responsible for fact-checking the content of their work and should present an accurate account of the research performed, and offer an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately. The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements or research conduct are unethical and unacceptable.

Indigenous Research Ethics
Any submission to a journal that has data collected from human subjects requires ethics approval. Authors should explicitly state that any necessary ethics committee approval was secured for the study reported. Research must have been approved by relevant bodies such as institutional review boards, research ethics committees, and national authorities. If ethics committee approval was required, authors should state the name, location and the approving ethics committee(s) or provide an explanation of why ethical approval was not required.

Authors of research that involves indigenous communities should also have approval from recognized knowledge holders of the band, tribe, sub-tribe or nation involved. Authors must declare that appropriate consent was obtained from all research participants and include a statement on the consent procedure in the submitted and published paper. The editor or publisher may require proof of ethics committee approval and proof of participant consent to be produced.

Language (general)
Articles in English should be written in an accessible style with a New Zealand audience in mind. The journal is multidisciplinary and, as such, papers should be targeted at a wide readership. New Zealand English spelling should be used consistently throughout the paper. Any specialist or technical terms should be defined on first use. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that any words, phrases or quotes in languages other than English are correctly spelled, accurately translated and include all diacritical marks (e.g. Māori macrons). Please note that we ask that authors refrain from providing translations in the main text and to only list these in the glossary (see Translations and Glossary below).

From time to time Mahika Kai Journal also features articles in indigenous languages. Authors interested in writing such an article should contact the Editors so that we can provide more information and assistance.

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made a significant contribution should be listed as co-authors. Others who have contributed in certain substantive aspects to the manuscript are listed in the acknowledgments section. All co-authors and responsible authorities at the institute or organisation where the research was carried out should have approved the submitted version.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
Authors should declare all funding sources and any actual or potential conflicts including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people and organisations. The funding source of the research should be declared and published in the acknowledgment section, and the role of the funding source in the conception, conduct, analysis, and reporting of the research should be stated and published.

Fundamental Errors in Published Work
Authors are obliged to notify the journal editors or publisher immediately to retract the article or publish an appropriate erratum if they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their published work.

Manuscript Types
We have 3 main types of paper:
• Article
o These make up the main content of the journal.
o This should be a piece of novel work that critically and substantively addresses an indigenous issue or theme.
o Peer reviewed to international standards; we aim to solicit at least one review from within the indigenous peoples or group under discussion, and two others from outside.
o Straight summaries of the literature are discouraged – there should be novel analysis or interpretation involved.
o Initial submissions should be limited to 7,000 words including title, keywords, abstract and references.
• Commentary
o Mahika Kai Journal seeks new insights or opinion about matters that are specifically relevant to this time. Commentaries are expected to be sharp in their analysis, thought-provoking and new.
o Comment or opinion pieces on a critical issue concerning indigenous peoples.
o Limited to 4,000 words maximum including title, keywords, abstract and references.
o Peer reviewed to different criteria, allowing novel opinion to be expressed.
• Book Review
o We welcome reviews on recently published books or edited volumes on indigenous issues.
o We always have books waiting to be reviewed – if you are interested in reviewing a book please join our mailing list; we send out a list of books with requests for reviewers a few times a year.
o Book reviews should be guided by a discussion of the engaged debate, position the book in its field of literature and give a few points of information on the author’s background.
o Book reviewers should neither be uncritically advocating for the book by offering an overly meticulous summary without analysis, nor should they take the book that is to be discussed as an occasion for presenting the reviewer’s own views on a theme or topic.
o These are reviewed by the Editors and Editorial Board, not by peer review.
o Book reviews should not exceed 1,000 words in length.

Manuscript Components
The paper should have the following components:
• First page: Title and author details (pertaining to each co-author)
o Full name(s)
o Academic degrees
o Institutional affiliation, position held at the institution and the location of the institution
o Tribal affiliations (optional)
o Email address (lead author only)
• Second page: Title
Abstract (max 150 words)
Up to 6 key words
• Subsequent pages should not have the authors’ names or other identifying features, as the paper will be sent to anonymous peer review. Authors should avoid large amounts of self- referencing to preserve anonymity.
• Abstract: An abstract is often presented separately from a published article, so it must be able to stand alone. It should state briefly and clearly the paper's objectives, the principal findings and its novel contribution to the existing literature. For empirical papers the methodology and analytical strategy should be clearly stated, including nature and size of sample, location(s) and date(s). References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.
• The basic sections of a scholarly paper are the introduction, methods, results, discussion and conclusion. Additional sections can be included if necessary.

Please consult the 7th Edition of the APA Manual for guidelines on manuscript structure and content.
• Displaying Data: To report the findings of qualitative research studies, authors should select key quotes and include tables or diagrams to visually display theories or models that have emerged from the qualitative study. For quotes authors are expected to include information that identifies the person quoted either through a pseudonym or a participant number to maintain anonymity. The gender of the quoted person should also be disclosed.
• Figures (including illustrations, maps and graphs) and tables should be numbered sequentially and referred to in order in the text. The main text of the article should include an explicit mention of each figure and/or table near to the figure’s/ table’s intended location (<Insert Figure N about here>). Each should have a stand-alone caption or title, with further explanation if required. Please also refer to the section on copyright below for further information.
• Illustrations and figures should be submitted separately as TIFF, JPEG or EPS files with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Images should not be inappropriately altered from the original or present findings in a misleading way.
• Translations and Glossary. All indigenous and non-English words must be listed in the glossary complete with an English translation. We ask that authors refrain from providing translations in parentheses in the text or abstract. The glossary should be placed at the end of the article before the references and include all non-English words listed in alphabetical order. This should also include organisation or tribe names. Words in the glossary should not be capitalized unless proper nouns.
• Acknowledgment Section and Disclaimer. In this section all people who have contributed in certain substantive aspects to the manuscript should be listed. Authors are also required to disclose all sources of financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article as well as the role of the sponsor if applicable. Please also list information regarding ethics committee approval and/or research agreements with an indigenous community as well as a statement confirming appropriate consent from all research participants if applicable (see Indigenous Research Ethics above).
• The reference section should be limited to specifically referenced items, and is not a general bibliography or suggestions for further reading. All cited references must be included and listed in APA style.

Format Specifications
• Microsoft Word or Open Office document
• Times New Roman font
• Double spaced
• 12-point font
• All pages numbered
• New Zealand English spelling must be used consistently throughout the paper
• The use of footnotes is not allowed

We conform to the 7th Edition of the APA style guide and ask that submitted papers are written in this style. Some main points follow. More information, including free tutorials, can be found at

Use two hard returns at the end of each paragraph.

All headings should be in Bold for clarity. Please show the distinction between your different levels of heading clearly by:
Title of Article:
Mahika Kai Journal only allows 2 levels of section headings.
Section Headings, Level 1:
12-point, left aligned and in sentence case
Subheadings, Level 2:
12-point, italics, left aligned and in sentence case

Quotations and Previously Published Material
Use double quotation marks for quotations less than 40 words in length and leave them in the body of the text. Use single quotation marks when you use a quote within a quote.

Indent, with no quotation marks, quotations more than 40 words and use double spacing for line formatting. Use double quotation marks when you use a quote within an indented quote.

Omitting Material
Use 3 spaced ellipsis points … within a sentence to indicate material you have omitted from the original source. Use 4 spaced points to indicate omission between two sentences.

Adding Material
Use square brackets [] (not parentheses) to enclose additions or explanations inserted by someone other than the original author.

Previously Published Material and Copyright
It is the responsibility of the Author to obtain permission to reproduce copyrighted material from other sources. This includes text and tables as well as photographs, slides, line illustrations or any other artwork. Tables and illustrations must be accompanied by written permission for their use from the copyright owner, along with complete information as to source. In most cases this will mean contacting the publisher of the original work. We request that authors provide us with a written confirmation prior to acceptance of the final manuscript. We encourage authors to start this process as early as possible.

Use capital letters only for proper nouns and acronyms. Do not use capitalization for emphasis.

Indigenous and other languages
As a rule, do not italicize indigenous or other non-English words. Do use italics if the word is identical to a word in English and would confuse the reader in normal font.
We encourage the use of non-English words in the text for cultural or indigenous concepts, especially those that are not easily translated.
We ask that authors refrain from providing translations in parentheses in the text or abstract. A glossary listing all indigenous words and their translations alphabetically should be placed before the references. The glossary should also include organizations and tribal groups. Words in the glossary should not be capitalized unless they are proper nouns.

If definitions are more than a few words in length, require qualifying information (i.e. the word may be used in a slightly different context from the direct translation), or if the word requires a long explanation to its meaning that is essential to the paper, this should be in the main text and NOT in footnotes.

For words in which the context gives the plural or tense, the definition should be correct for the context in which it is used in the English sentence.
Use all diacritical marks and if you anticipate there may be problems in reproducing them in the finished article, please contact the editorial office. It is the author’s responsibility to use diacritical marks correctly to ensure the correct spelling convention of the word.

Avoid abbreviations
‘that is’ not ‘i.e.’
‘for example’ not ‘e.g.’
‘percent’ not %, unless presenting a lot of data or a list of percentages
Spell out acronyms on first use, placing the acronym in parenthesis immediately thereafter, for example, ‘United Nations (UN)’. Use the acronym for all subsequent references, except where it occurs at the start of a sentence.
Do not use full stops in abbreviations, initials of names or acronyms (‘UN’ not ‘U.N.’).

List all works cited in the text in alphabetical order. Do not include uncited texts.
All articles should be fully referenced with complete citation lists. The journal editors are not responsible for completing incomplete citations.

The APA system of referencing should be used. Please consult the APA website for examples:

In the Text:
When referencing or quoting directly from a source, the APA style requires author-date citation in the text (Smith, 1999). For direct quotes, page numbers are also required (Smith, 1999, p. 20). When referencing from online references, which don't have page numbers, a paragraph number should be used in such instances. If two or more authors are cited at the same point in the text then they are included in the same citation, separated by a semicolon (Jackson, 2007; Smith, 1999).
For up to one or two authors, list all authors when cited in the text.
For three or more authors, list all authors on first citation, and thereafter only the first author followed by ‘et al.’
We encourage authors to use a separate in-text citation for each quote and to avoid Ibid, as this increases clarity for the reader and reduces the potential for confusion if the paper is subsequently revised and the order of citations changed.

Reference List
At the end of the article, authors are required to provide the full bibliographic information for each source. References must be listed in alphabetical order by surname of the first author. Each reference should include authors and/or editors, date, title, and publication information.
Titles should be first written in their original language, followed by a translation in brackets [ ] (not parentheses).

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