The highs and lows of sole parenting experienced by wāhine Māori : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Philosophy (Health) at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Massey University
The Author
Wāhine Māori and their experiences of sole parenting is an important field of study although it is under-examined in the field of research. The topic is common in literature that is related to political, economic and educational issues of children being raised by a sole parent. An examination of the experiences of wāhine Māori sole parents is the focus of this study and is an area with very little academic research. This research was conducted using a qualitative approach relevant in exploratory research that focuses on experiences and perceptions of people, in this research wāhine Māori. A kanohi ki kanohi interview process enabled the voices of the wāhine Māori to be heard, prompting their detailed lived experiences. Kaupapa Māori, Māori-centred research and a Mana wāhine approach guided and influenced this research. The findings from this research showed that wāhine Māori identified the importance of education, therefore completing academic studies and seeking employment. Essentially they became role models for their tamariki. A major contribution was the significant supportive role played by the grandfathers who had fundamentally parented them then went on to manaaki their mokopuna. Other ‘good men’ had made an impact with the tamariki for example mentoring them through sporting ventures. A recognition for the wāhine Māori as sole parents was they were successful in parenting their tamariki for their future growth and development and therefore strived for the same outcomes as others in society. Finally, these insights provide the basis for recommendations to improve social services for wāhine Māori and principles to guide their future development.
Single mothers, Parent and child, Women, Maori, Māmā, Wāhine, New Zealand