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Nā Wai Koe? Our tūpuna call us home: Maremare whānau thinking about connections to whenua tupuna

This research focuses on the Maremare whānau from Tiniwaitara Marae, Turakina, in order to explore the importance of our relationship with our whenua tupuna and the related concept of returning home. Although many academics have carefully attended to the concept of ‘disconnection’ from whenua tupuna in order to describe the effects of Māori mobility, this term unfortunately reinforces the colonial attempt to detach our people from the things that provide us with our sense of belonging. I argue that thinking about relationship with whenua tupuna through terms like ‘disconnection’ and ‘reconnection’ are unhelpful and problematic; instead, when we understand this relationship in Māori terms, our connection to our whenua tupuna is an everlasting relationship that is woven into the fabric of our whakapapa. The research combines interviews with three generations of the Maremare whānau, including people with diverse experiences of relationships with Turakina, with critical reflection on relevant concepts from Te Ao Māori. Specifically, mobilising a Kaupapa Māori Theory approach, the thesis draws on an oriori, ‘He Oriori mō Wharaurangi’ as the methodology and foundation of this thesis. In this way, the thesis both argues and demonstrates the value of researchers, and in particular kairangahau Māori, look to mātauranga Māori to guide us in our research about Māori topics. This oriori is iwi specific, it holds kōrero tuku iho that pertains to my whakapapa as an uri of Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa and it is very relevant to both my kaupapa and the people participating in the rangahau. Ultimately, whakapapa rests at the core of connection to whenua tupuna. It is the foundation in which we stand and it connects us as a people to the land that birthed us. This thesis looks at the different ways that our tūpuna call us home, the different ‘returning home’ experiences within the Maremare whānau and how people within the whānau view their connection with our whenua tupuna in Turakina. Nā wai koe? Our tūpuna call us home.
Type of thesis
Sampson, J. (2021). Nā Wai Koe? Our tūpuna call us home (Thesis, Master of Māori and Pacific Development (MMPD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14588
The University of Waikato
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