Exiting the matrix : colonisation, decolonisation and social work in Aotearoa : voices of Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga kaimahi whānau : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Philosophy in Social Work at Massey University, Palmerston North, Aotearoa
This thesis examines the potential use of a facilitated process of decolonisation, or whakawātea, amongst whānau whakapapa in Aotearoa. Ten kaimahi whānau of Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, who have worked for many years in government, community, Māori and iwi social service agencies have shared their experiences of colonisation, racism, social work and decolonisation. Using a "from Māori, by Māori, with Māori, for Māori" research approach, their voices have been woven with the voices of other Māori and indigenous writers, to consider how a facilitated process of decolonisation, or whakawātea, could be used to assist whānau whakapapa to develop their own systems of support, based on the traditions, values, skills and beliefs of their tūpuna.
Despite the positive development and wellbeing currently enjoyed by many whānau whakapapa, this study has developed in response to the disconnection from te ao Māori observed amongst many whānau whakapapa interacting with social service agencies. Colonisation has created loss of wairuatanga, kotahitanga and manaakitanga amongst many of these whānau whakapapa, and affected their ability to lead their own positive development and wellbeing. This study promotes a facilitated process of decolonisation, or whakawātea, as a means of reclaiming those values and strengthening whānaungatanga amongst whānau whakapapa. The process envisaged would enable whānau whakapapa to learn about the history of Aotearoa; hear the stories of their tūpuna; uncover their own truths, and exit the "Matrix" created by colonisation
The Matrix, from the popular movie trilogy, is used in this study, as an analogy, and compares the computerised Matrix programme created by machines in the movies, with the "programme" created by the coloniser in Aotearoa. Within this programme, the traditions, values, skills and beliefs of the coloniser, dominate the traditions, values, skills and beliefs of tūpuna. This study argues that only through finding ways for all whānau whakapapa to exit the Matrix, will rangatiratanga be restored in Aotearoa.