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Creating an Interview Guide

We need to understand peoples needs and motivations which we can't get from secondary research so we create an interview guide. Read on to learn more.
River in a forest over rocks


The next two tasks are both videos from people who are associated with the Waikato River.

We created an interview guide to help us uncover what they believe the challenges are and where they are coming from.

The following is the interview guide we created.


Thanks for agreeing to be available for the chat to hear your thoughts on the Waikato River and what it means to you. Just as a reminder I am Aidan Bigham/Claudine Waitere and we are looking at creating solutions to the challenge “How might we increase the number of swimmable rivers and lakes in the Waikato region”.

Questions to create rapport

1) So can we quickly start with your name, and your role.

2) What is your connection with the Waikato River?

  • Who else has these same connections with the River?

3) What type of work do you do with the Waikato river?

  • What types of activities make up this work?

Now starting to evoke stories

3) What is the most rewarding story you have abut the Waikato River?

  • And what is the most challenging story you have regarding the River

4) Tell me what your aspirations for the river are – and why?

5) How does you see the River supporting the region?

6) What 5 words come to mind when you think of the Waikato River? (They can be individual unconnected words or a sentence)

Question their statements, and dig deeper with “why” throughout.

7) Do you have any final thoughts regarding the question: “How might we increase the number of swimmable rivers and lakes in the Waikato region”.

Thanks for your time. You are welcome to add your thoughts at any time so please do get in contact with us if you would like to?


Now that you have read through these questions what changes would you make? Is there an element you believe was missing and why? Post your answer in the comments.

If you are carrying out your own study:

Create an interview guide and interview different people to hear their views. Highlight the really important information they said.

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Solving Sustainability Challenges with Te Ao Māori (Māori World View)

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