Youth development, Maui styles : Kia tipu te rito o te pa harakeke, Tikanga and ahuatanga as a basis for a positive Maori youth development approach : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Maori Studies at Te Kunenga ki Purehuroa Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa has been seen as an innovative approach to youth development. The E tipu e rea – Rangatahi Development Package was particularly useful for organisations implementing the strategy with Maori youth. There have been successful Maori youth development initiatives, though these have been ad hoc. Nonetheless, the realities and experiences of Maori youth are still not being fully addressed in national policy. This has implications for the support and resourcing of Maori youth development initiatives.
Maori youth are members of a range of groups including whanau, hapu, iwi and Maori communities in te ao Maori as well as the wider youth population and New Zealand society. The histories, experiences and viewpoints of each distinct group contribute to diversity in the Maori youth population which presents challenges for Maori youth development. Maori development goals do not adequately focus on Maori youth and youth development theory does not fully consider culture. The challenge is to successfully integrate Maori culture and youth culture in a relevant and meaningful manner so that Maori youth can positively contribute to Maori development and wider New Zealand society.
This study examines purakau (narratives) about Maui (Polynesian ancestor) as a template for the analysis of Maori youth development. Interviews were undertaken with a group of Maori youth from the Manawatu region. The research showed tikanga and ahuatanga were relevant to the contemporary daily lives of the participants. The study found that positive development and the realisation of potential for Maori youth was affected by individual and environmental influences. This thesis concludes by making recommendations for policy, practice and further research. Finally, it offers a culturally appropriate theoretical approach for positive Maori youth development.