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Indigenous women and the professions: Some Maori women's experiences in the accountancy profession of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Concern about and resistance to the marginalisation of indigenous peoples has been growing globally. A focus upon indigenous women's experiences of accountancy is thus timely given the increasing concern to recognise the rights of indigenous peoples. This thesis aims to explore the experiences of Maori women accountants in Aotearoa/NewZealand through the use of oral history. It seeks to provide Maori women with an opportunity to be heard by researchers, academics, policy makers, members of the accountancy profession and Maori women more widely. An opportunity is also provided for Maori women to influence the discipline of accounting and its organisational practices by exposing the profession to issues concerning Maori, as an indigenous ethnic group. It is argued that it is important to gather and listen to the stories of Maori women, as being heard is a crucial step towards understanding and reconciliation of their experiences with societally espoused commitments to equality and social justice. The struggle for Maori in Aotearoa/New Zealand is for equal participation, which also manifests itself in our organisations like accountancy firms and the accountancy profession. I have investigated the relationship between contemporary Maori women, accountancy and the history of colonialism and post-colonialism. Kaupapa Maori research methodologies are seen as a means of intervention in the transformation of Maori socially, economically and politically. The intent of these methodologies is to ensure a practice beyond the mere assimilation of marginalised groups, like Maori women. Over the last decade feminist accounting research has focused upon, perhaps unintentionally, women from the dominant white middle-class. The special features of 'Other' women have been obliterated by the cultural and class blindness of researchers. Their minority status has also rendered their significant differences to be invisible. There has been a particular paucity of research concerned to explain the career experiences of women from indigenous groups, including Maori women. An analysis of the empirical date gathered for this thesis is undertaken from a critical feminist perspective, by reference to the works of theorists on the 'decolonisation' of Maori and Maori women in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Suggestions on the transformation of the mono-cultural practices of the accountancy profession and its organisations include the process of hearing and understanding the Maori perspective. The Maori women in this study have shown that they have something unique to bring to the table in seeking a commitment for equal participation, in their aspirations for future equality in all aspects of Aotearoa/New Zealand society.
Type of thesis
McNicholas, P. (2003). Indigenous women and the professions: Some Maori women’s experiences in the accountancy profession of Aotearoa/New Zealand (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13237
The University of Waikato
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