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Whakapapa Ora: An exploration of Māori Identity through Whakapapa

This thesis set out to explore Māori identity through access to whakapapa. As whānau, hapū, and iwi, we have a responsibility to future generations to ensure access to whakapapa is inclusive. Therefore, access to whakapapa in today’s world must also consider contemporary approaches, including the use of technology to engage the next generation in learning about, and connecting with, whakapapa. The research is centred on the question ‘How can whakapapa be accessed safely in culturally appropriate ways that evolve with twenty-first-century systems?’ I use contemporary pūrākau to review traditional access to whakapapa, supported by a Kaupapa Māori approach to frame the research. Kaupapa Māori Theory, Ngā Takepū, and Pūrākau Methodology (underpinned by Qualitative Methodology and Thematic Analysis) give an overview of the methodologies and methods used herein. Five semi-structured interviews with whānau affiliated to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga and Taranaki iwi were conducted. Each share their lived experiences as Māori to support an understanding of identity through whakapapa. The results suggest whānau Māori who access whakapapa (in its many forms), will undergo a process of decolonisation. This requires adequate support in the form of kaitiakitanga, necessary to gain a better understanding of Te Ao Māori tikanga and kawa. Whakapapa access develops this process. However, further research is required to fully appreciate ‘Whakapapa Ora’ as a foundation for safe access to whakapapa in the twenty-first century.
Type of thesis
Ngawhare, R. M. (2019). Whakapapa Ora: An exploration of Māori Identity through Whakapapa (Thesis, Master of Māori and Pacific Development (MMPD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13535
The University of Waikato
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