|dc.description.abstract||This research explores how Maori athletes experience, interpret and negotiate their Maori identity while competing in elite sport. Since its arrival, organised sport has become an integral social phenomenon in Aotearoa New Zealand society for Maori and Pakeha. This increased appeal of sport has provided Maori an avenue in which to escape deep-rooted colonial ideologies that described Maori in deficit ways. As such, the number of Maori participating in elite sport is proportional to the Maori population as a whole. Although the field of sport is a vibrant area of scholarly inquiry in Aotearoa New Zealand, Maori athlete participation in elite sport with respect to Maori identity remains relatively unexplored. This research responds to that void by discussing the experiences of 10 Maori athletes who illustrate that a variety of challenges and implications exist when Maori identity is examined within the context of elite sport.
A kaupapa Maori qualitative strategy in the form of oral histories and storytelling referred to as purakau was used. Participants were selected based on two criteria: a) they either currently, or had in the past, represented Aotearoa New Zealand in their chosen sport or similarly achieved professional status as an athlete; and b) self-identified as Maori, through personal communication with the researcher. Five male and five female Maori athletes aged between 19 and 48 years were interviewed. Four participants had retired, seven had participated in team sports, and seven had represented Aotearoa New Zealand at either the Olympic or Commonwealth games.
There were several key findings. The first is that all Maori athletes express a direct association of their Maori identity through turangawaewae and/or whakapapa, yet
some exemplified an acute self-awareness that they exhibit few specific Maori cultural behaviours associated with it. As a part of this, nearly all discuss that te reo Maori remains a critical Maori cultural element that influences how they perceive their Maori identity. Second, participants highlight the impact of matauranga Maori (Maori knowledge and cultural practices), that when integrated during competition at world events, such as the Olympic/Commonwealth games provided a sense of solace and pride with respect to their Maori identity and invoked feelings of membership, belonging and national identity that in this research is referred to as kaupapa whanau. Third, participants revealed how participating in iwi and Maori sporting events, engaging with the public via television and the media, the role of their athlete-coach relationships and social responsibility influence their perceptions of Maori identity. Several participants also shared private traditional rituals and cultural practices they employ while competing in elite sport, and how these practices assist in creating meaning of their Maori identity.
A metaphorical depiction referred to as Te Whariki Tuakiri-the identity mat, is presented to illustrate the convergence of these themes and to better understand the diversity of Maori identity that exists for Maori athletes.||en_US
|dc.title||Ngā kaipara Māori : ngā pūmahara o te tuakiri Māori me te ao hākinakina = Māori athletes : perceptions of Māori identity and elite sport participation : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of Management, Massey Business School, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand||en_US