Seeking solutions to being restricted : a Māori-centred grounded theory of Māori, mental illness and health services : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Māori Studies, Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Massey University
The Author
The status of Māori mental health in New Zealand has increasingly deteriorated, despite radical changes to mental health service delivery and modern improvements in treatment. The question posed in this doctoral research is: What is occurring amongst Māori with mental illness and mental health services? The research applied qualitative methods. Glaserian grounded theory, informed by a Māori centred approach, was utilised and further supported by the concepts of mana Māori (control), whakapiki tangata (enablement), whakatuia (integration), and Māori ethical principles. Thirty Māori participants between the ages of 20 and 65 years were interviewed; 24 were interviewed individually and the remaining participated in a focus group of six Māori women. Participants identified as Māori with lived experience of mental illness and mental health services. The cohort also included whānau members and Māori practitioners who were interviewed during the process of theoretical sampling. Thirty interviews were audio recorded and field notes were taken. A systematic process of data collection and data analyses occurred using a range of methods as part of the Glaserian grounded theory method. This included coding, memoing, the constant comparison of data and theoretical sampling, all of which helped to reach the saturation of data. The goal was to discover what the main problem was for Māori participating, and how they resolved it. The outcome from this research was the development of a middle range substantive theory titled Seeking Solutions to Being Restricted. The core category, Being Restricted, is recognised as the main problem Māori, in this study, grappled with in regard to their mental health and wellbeing. This includes subcategories with a number of properties: the turning point, being apprehended, physical compromise for mental stability and addressing wairua. The basic social psychological process, Seeking Solutions, was influenced by Māori aspirations for hope and change. This process explains various behaviours where Māori are fighting for their goals and desires to be met or they are having to adapt to a mental health system in order to acquire their goals. Together, the core category and the basic social psychological process represent the theoretical proposition that Māori with experience of mental illness and mental health services are Seeking Solutions to Being Restricted. From the findings of this study, recommendations are provided to address Māori being restricted. The implication of this study is that if mental health professionals and mental health services continue to contribute to an oppressive approach to Māori, there will be an increasing disadvantage to the mental health of Māori.
Maori (New Zealand people) -- Mental health -- New Zealand, Maori (New Zealand people) -- Mental health services -- New Zealand, Maori (New Zealand people) -- Medical care -- New Zealand -- Attitudes, Northland (N.Z.), Tāngata whenua, Hauora hinengaro, Mate rerekē, Hauora wairua