The research process for Māori (native to New Zealand) academic researchers who choose to carry out research within their own communities is a daunting enterprise. Dual accountability is a dominant feature of the research process and incorporates bicultural viewpoints, cross-cultural approaches, bilingualism and dichotomous roles. In addition, accountability to your own community as well as responsibility to the academy is an everpresent tension. This paper1 examines the implications of role duality for Māori researchers carrying out research within their own communities, although such implications may equally apply to indigenous researchers generally who find themselves in a similar situation. Examples within this paper are drawn from a PhD study that used a combined kaupapa Māori (Māori philosophy) and ethnographic methodology during more than two years of field research into the management and administrative processes of a marae (Māori community centre) in the Waikato.