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Speaking the unspoken: Maori experiences of racism in New Zealand sport

This research explores how being Maori influences Maori participants’ sport experiences and offers a critical Maori perspective on New Zealand sport. Ten experienced Maori sport participants were interviewed using Kaupapa Maori Research Methods which involved research performed by Maori, about Maori being Maori. This research grew out of discussions with Maori participants and explores their experiences as athletes, coaches, administrators and spectators, focusing on their interactions with Pakeha in Pakeha-dominated sport. Their experiences demonstrate personal, cultural and institutional racism in New Zealand sport and indicate how the power differentials in society impact on the ability of Maori to practice important cultural values in Pakeha-dominated contexts. I argue that racism is a factor affecting the relationships of Maori with Pakeha in key functionary positions in sport and identify a culture of denial that operates to marginalise discussions about racism generally. These participants’ experiences reflect cultural incapacity and blindness (Cross, Bazron, Dennis & Isaacs, 1989) by the dominant culture which have negative effects on the Maori participants including decisions to opt out of sport, feelings of hurt and frustration, a reduction in their commitment to national identity and a general sense that they are not considered as equals. The conclusion considers what is needed for New Zealand sport to become fully culturally inclusive; a situation desired by the participants and which has the potential to benefit everyone in sport.
Type of thesis
Hippolite, H. R. (2010). Speaking the unspoken: Maori experiences of racism in New Zealand sport (Thesis, Master of Sport and Leisure Studies (MSpLS)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5147
University of Waikato
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