A health index is a single number that is calculated by averaging scores from many different types of component indicators. Health indexes are used by scientists, professionals and communities all over the world as one of the most simple and common ways of measuring wellbeing.
Māori scholars in New Zealand came up with the idea of creating a ‘Cultural’ Health Index (CHI) to help Māori communities measure and assess the wellbeing of atua domains or ecosystems. Thus, in New Zealand the word ‘cultural’ is generally understood to mean ‘whānau Māori’ Health Index.
While many different Cultural Health Indexes (CHI) have been created, their development and use follows a common cyclical pathway. This pathway forms a helpful basis for the use of this Maatai CHI accounting tool.