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"Everything has shaped you": Contributors to young Māori university students' ability to flourish

There are many disparities when considering the health and wellbeing of Māori in Aotearoa today, and the education sector is no different, with Māori less likely to leave school with level 2 certificate or higher compared with non-Māori. In response to the deficit orientated research on Māori and education, my thesis explores those factors contributing to young Māori tertiary students flourishing. My research includes five students from the University of Waikato who were between the ages of 17-24 years. A multi-method qualitative approach was utilised while engaging a Kaupapa Māori research framework. Participants were found to have a range of interconnected factors which contribute to their ability to flourish both inside and outside of the university. Of particular importance to my participants was relational connectedness or whanaungatanga within and outside of the tertiary environment, landscapes which offered multiple forms of care, and notions of both collective and individual motivation. Some of the challenges experienced by my participants included a sense of socio-cultural isolation, the minimal inclusion of Māori worldviews and perspectives within the general curriculum, and the personal stress of responding to negative stereotypes of Maori as generally unproductive members of society. Flourishing for my participants is therefore multi-layered, and recognises the interconnected nature of health and wellbeing.  
Type of thesis
Major, D. N. (2017). ‘Everything has shaped you’: Contributors to young Māori university students’ ability to flourish (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11334
University of Waikato
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